Whether it is raining or snowing, Ryder’s parents had no choice but to leave their wheelchair-bound son outside, exposed to the weather, in order for him to catch the school bus. That is until dad made an internet plea that was not ignored.
In the United States, public transportation isn’t very good. Many people with impairments have it even worse. Thankfully, some kind of people’s resourcefulness may have just addressed an issue – at least for one youngster.
Ryder Kilam, a 5-year-old child in a wheelchair, has the same routine most mornings.
He goes outside to wait for the bus every weekday he has school. The bus then picks him up from the bottom of the sidewalk and transports him to Dunn’s Corners Elementary School once his parents have taken him outdoors. All of this is worsened by Ryder’s inability to walk.
Because Ryder’s house is about 75 feet from the bottom of the driveway, he had to go outside early or risk missing the bus.
His parents came up with the idea of simply being extra early. Most kids would be able to stay inside until the bus comes down the street and then run out, but that is clearly not an option for Ryder.
As a result, Ryder spends all of his time outside at the bottom of the driveway, regardless of the weather.
Ryder is outside, whether it’s raining or snowing. His parents went to great lengths to make him feel at ease, even putting out a patio umbrella to keep the rain at bay. Even yet, it wasn’t a perfect solution, as even the slightest breeze was enough to blow the umbrella away.
Ryder’s parents, in search of a better answer, posted a Facebook call for assistance.
“So we decided to reach out to the community, and we really placed a post on Facebook searching for people who might have one they weren’t using anymore.” WJAR10
It didn’t get any traction until it was picked up by an unusual group: Westerly High School’s Construction Technology class. When the class’s teacher, Dan McKenna, read the post, he realized it was a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to practice their talents while also being kind.
McKena accepted right away and put his students to work on their own “bus hut” for Ryder!
McKena stated, “I think my first email was, absolutely, we’re in.” “We’ve worked on various projects in the past. I believe it is critical for my pupils to learn not only about building but also about being involved in the community and dealing with people outside of the classroom.”
The Kilam family purchased the rest of the wood after Home Depot gave roughly $300. After purchasing the materials, it was time to get to work! The resulting structure was ADA accessible (due to Ryder’s older brother’s participation in the class) and ideal for the upcoming weather!
Ryder was so enamored with the hut that he spent EXTRA time there!
“He loves it,” Kilam said. “He really has us stay out here after school and hang out now that it’s his new fort so he gets home.”
It wasn’t just a project for the children; it was a chance for them to demonstrate their love and care to a young boy who was in need. Ryder will, without a doubt, look up to those “cool high schoolers” for the rest of his life.