Student and Staff at Londonderry School Inspired by Local Amputee

Sep 26, 2013 No Comments by

Southern NH Montessori Academy elementary students celebrate their teacher’s upcoming epic challenge

Manchester resident James Osborne, a leg and foot amputee, is riding in the Challenged Athletes Foundation Dodge MillionDollar Challenge (MDC) beginning October 12, 2013. He will be the first Granite Stater to participate in this event, held in California each October. The MDC is a 620-mile, seven-day bicycle ride from San Francisco to San Diego. The ride raises money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and is open to only 100 riders. Osborne suffered frostbite and hypothermia during an ill-planned winter hike five years ago in Franconia State Park.

“The most important moments of my recovery have been sports,” said Osborne. “Re-learning to ski and bicycle are what has made me whole again.” For this reason, the 41-year-old schoolteacher became a supporter of CAF. In June, Osborne participated in an amputee running clinic sponsored by CAF. “I saw a little boy run for the first time. He was so excited. The look on his face was beyond words.”

CAF sponsors mobility and running clinics for amputees as well as sponsoring Para-Olympic and professional level challenged athletes. Last year, the charity was featured on 60 Minutes. The show chronicled CAF’s efforts to provide wheelchairs to amputees in Ghana. “The organization is more than just bike rides and triathlons,” Osborne says. “The fundamental premise is ‘get people participating in life.'”

“James is an inspiration to students and staff alike,” stated Debra Hogan, Head of School at Southern NH Montessori Academy where Osborne is a Lower Elementary teacher. “It is quite common to have students with varying abilities in a classroom, but not as often do we have the opportunity to diversity in our teaching teams. Having James as a member of our school helps to break down the social barriers of inquisitiveness. It’s quite common to have children ask James questions that others might be more reluctant to ask, like ‘Does your ‘fake leg’ get cold?'”

“We are all extremely excited for James and will integrate his journey into our classroom curriculum to stay connected with him during his upcoming challenge,” shared co-teacher Julie Anderson.

Click here to read the article published in the Nashua Telegraph telling Osborne’s story.

About Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation is a leader in helping individuals with physical challenges get involved in sports. CAF believes participation in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. This year CAF celebrates its 20th anniversary. Since 1994, more than 8,200 funding requests from challenged athletes in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF outreach efforts help another 80,000 individuals each year. The San Diego-based charity has recently opened a Northeast Chapter in New York City. Click here to learn more about CAF.

About Dodge Million Dollar Challenge
The Dodge Million Dollar Challenge has earned a reputation as one of the premier cycling events in the country, where individuals can use their passion for cycling to make a difference in the lives of others. CAF enables physically challenged athletes to find success in sports – and in life. MDC riders not only change gears, but change lives all over the world and especially for one challenged athlete right here in New Hampshire. To help support James’ ride, visit this website.

Southern New Hampshire Montessori Academy offers an academically focused education to children through an integrated curriculum. Concentration is given to educating the “whole child” (all facets of the child’s being, including: intellectual, physical, emotional, social and creative aspects) with a strong emphasis of hands-on and experiential learning where children develop their passion in technology, science, visual and performing arts, foreign language and physical education. Complementing a strong academic core, the school offers an enrichment program that includes elementary Latin, creative arts (visual and performing), daily physical education, technology, Spanish and Mandarin. For further information, please visit their website.

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About the author

Jacklynn has been a resident in Londonderry since the age of 5. She grew up in a quiet neighborhood and went through the great school system. She has fond memories of bike riding through town in the spring and summer, sledding in the winter, and apple and pumpkin picking in the fall. She now has children of her own and looks forward to raising them in the same town she enjoyed so much as a youth.
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