Lucy Taylor is a fun-loving, smart and precocious second grader at Barth Elementary School in Romulus, Michigan. She has a ton of friends, and the teachers love her. But when recess rolls around, she’s almost always left to play alone.
Lucy has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair or walker to get around. Slides and swings are difficult, so she usually spends recess sitting by herself.
That all changed two weeks ago after her mom, Daun Elizabeth Taylor, took to Facebook to voice her frustrations about her daughter’s daily recess struggles. “She can’t play tag very well,” she wrote. “And she can’t swing in a typical swing. She can’t go down the slide alone. So even though all the kids like her, she is left alone when they run to play.”
Barth Elementary principal Jeremy Thompson saw her Facebook post, and the very next day he joined Lucy for recess. He also made sure she’d never sit alone again, rallying a group of kids to participate in their recess fun each day. They even named their new group of playground playmates the “Bubble Squad.”
"You can't forget about making sure every kid feels like they're a part of something," Thompson said. “To be honest with you, it’s been the best part of my day.”
Daun couldn’t believe it. “Lucy had an extraordinary day yesterday at school. She didn’t play alone at recess yesterday. Her principal Mr. Thompson stopped in and spent some time with her,” she wrote on Facebook. “He made Lucy’s day … and helped her mom and dad’s hearts!”
And the good vibes don’t end there. Local news picked up the story and before long, the tale of Lucy and principal Thompson’s friendship went viral on social media. Watch the video.
“A number of parents have reached out to us whose children are also struggling, and Lucy has started sending out T-shirts and bubbles and hand-written notes to kiddos who would benefit from being part of the Bubble Squad,” Daun said. “She has taken her struggle and tried to use it to help others.”
What an incredible example of how one small action can bring about meaningful change. Principal Thompson improved Lucy’s (and her mom’s) entire school experience by sitting with her and encouraging other kids to do the same. And now Lucy is helping other kids around the country.
“My heart is full!” Daun exclaimed.
So is ours.