Along with the school, junior Cameron Volpe also received the first Six-Legged Starfish Achievement Award for the remarkable gains he has made as a student, while utilizing reading intervention provided, thanks to the district.
Cameron's parents, Nick and Janet Volpe, received the first recognition award given to parents for their efforts to not only advocate for their own son, but for other students in the district.
The Six-Legged Starfish Award was created by Reading & Dyslexia Tutor Janet Menosky Smith to recognized the efforts being made by individuals and schools in "Making a difference for students with learning differences."
Many are familiar with the tale of a two people walking on a beach, which is covered with thousands of starfish, that have been stranded there by the receding tide. One of the walkers begins to pick up one starfish at a time, to throw it back into the ocean. His friend asks, "Why bother? What difference are you going to make?" The first person looks at the starfish in his hand and answers, "It makes a difference for this one."
The starfish on the award itself has six legs, making it different from most five-legged starfish. This symbolizes the awardee's commitment to helping those with learning differences; or the achievements of the awardee, even with learning differences.
Thanks to the caring efforts of many, including the Volpes and many teachers and administrators at Derry Area School District, the district has researched and acquired effective programs and tools to help students with dyslexia and other learning differences. It is an honor to recognize and thank the parents and district for their efforts. Congratulations also to Cameron on his academic achievement!