The Traveling Trunk Project is an educational component of the group's mission: a resource trunk with hands-on activities targeting students at about the 5th grade level. The project's goal is to help students recognize the fears, isolation, and life-changing effects of polio. Students will discover the importance of immunizations and that polio is not a dead disease (it still exists in the world). The trunk is available for use in public or private school settings and contains appropriate curriculum that accompanies the trunk and activities.
Funding to create our two trunks was provided by a grant from the Rice County Community Health Foundation, the Hutchinson Noon Lions Club, and Home Instead Health Care Company, also of Hutchinson. During the 2013-14 school year, 258 children were impacted by these trunks. The number will be greater in 2014-15 because another school has been added.
The resource trunk is a companion to the book Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by well-known children's author Peg Kehret. It is her personal story of having polio in the 1950's at age thirteen.
Peg Kehret's Personal Web Page: www.pegkehret.com.
The Central Kansas Polio Survivors’ Support Group displayed one of the trunks at the International Post-Polio Conference in St. Louis last May. We set the different components on long tables so every topic of the trunk’s contents was displayed. Many people came by, and most spent time reading the information, looking at the displays, and remembering. Some asked questions. Several took pictures. A few had tears in their eyes as they shared the memories brought back by this display. A classroom teacher thanked us for enabling children to learn about polio as well as showing them that disabilities do not have to hold people back in life. She thought that concept with polio directly ties to modern soldiers disabled by our wars of today.
Some quotes and pictures shown next are from the trunk’s photo album. Classroom students are encouraged to discover its contents as a free-time activity.
Some Photos from the Trunk's Photo Album...