I received an e-mail a few days ago from a 7th grade in English teacher in NYC. She's the mother of a daughter born with a congenital heart defect, which is why she loves Noah's story. However, her students - most of whom aren't runners - love it because of Noah's perseverance and positive attitude. Here's the e-mail:
"Hell, he made me cry. The first three times I told his story to my friends, I cried every time. Not only because of Noah, but because of everyone who loves Noah."
Well, I have cried too. In fact, I have cried two times today as I read your beautifully written story of Noah to my students. I have two more classes to teach after writing this email so I will probably cry two more times today.
My name is Colleen Glenn, and I teach 7th grade English Language Arts at Russell Sage Junior High School in Forest Hills, Queens, NYC. When I found your article, I knew I had to share this with my students.
I cried when I first read your article a few weeks ago too. Then I cried again when I shared Noah's story with my friend, another teacher in my school.
I'm crying for a few reasons. One being that Noah's story starts off so sad, and then because it's so heart warming. But mainly, I'm crying because my own daughter was born with a condition called heart block. She received a pacemaker at 11 weeks old. She's now 3 and she's thriving as well. Stories like Noah's give me hope, strength, and, weirdly enough, parenting advice. I've learned to never hold her back, to let her take chances, and the importance of supporting her in whatever path she chooses.
I've also been crying because my students have been so receptive to Noah's story. I've shared my daughter's story with them, and they, in turn, have shared some of their own with me. We are inspired. So, we've decided to dedicate our upcoming Socratic Seminar to Noah and what our own definitions of success are.
Please tell Noah that the 7th graders of Russell Sage are cheering for him! They want me to ask you for him to come and speak to them. While I know this is virtually impossible, we would love to hear back from you or Noah so that we know that you know that this story has truly made an impact here in our classroom.
Colleen Glenn and my class, 7G1
English Language Arts Teacher
Russell Sage Junior High School
Forest Hills, NY