Living with any form of disability can be quite challenging, and sweet Ryder Kilam, a five year old boy who is in a wheelchair, knows that best.
In order to get to school, Ryan uses the bus, just like his friends, but the difference is that they can easily wait for the bus to make a stop in front of their home while still inside and simply run towards it when they spot it. Ryan, on the other hand, has to wait outside, at the bottom of the sidewalk, otherwise, he could easily miss it because his house is around 75 feet away.
No matter if it’s sunny, rainy, or showy, Ryan has to stay outside waiting.
His parents, who make all in their power to ease his life as much as possible, take him outside earlier, but when the weather is bad, that doesn’t seem like the perfect solution.
One time, they placed a patio umbrella at the bottom of the driveway in order to keep him from the sun and the rain, but even slight wind would negate the covering of the umbrella.
Unable to find a solution to their problem, Ryan’s parents decided to ask the community for help.
A construction class at Westerly HS learned a 5-yr old was in need of a sheltered area to wait to his bus in the morning. Ryder,can’t run outside like most kids and had to wait in the rain but not anymore thanks to the kindness of students who built him a bus stop! @ 5:30 @NBC10 pic.twitter.com/cl4a3xKXJ7
— Sam Read (@NBC10_Sam) November 18, 2021
It took a while, but eventually, the post reached just the right people. Professor Dan McKena from the Westerly High School who teaches construction technology though that getting involved in a project of building a “bus hut” for little Ryan would be of great importance both for the little one and his students. While doing a good deed, the students would be given an opportunity to put their knowledge into practice, so it seemed like a win-win situation.
“I think my first email was, absolutely we’re in,” professor McKena told WJAR. “We’ve done other projects before. I think it’s very important for my students to learn not only the aspects of construction but of being involved in the community dealing with people outside of the school environment.”
Home Depot also got involved in the project and donated $300 worth of materials. The rest of the expenses were covered by Ryan’s mom and dad.
The final result was a an ADA accessible structure perfect for the soon-coming weather!
Ryan’s dad said that his son loves his bus hut so much that he wants to spend time inside even when he’s not waiting for the bus. “He loves it, he actually after school makes us stay out here and hang out, now it’s his new fort.”
Thanks to professor McKena and his students, one sweet boy’s life became much easier. Thank you!
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