Posted Date: 05/07/2021
COPPERAS COVE, TX (April 21, 2021)—Without a doubt, when you meet Copperas Cove Junior High Librarian Tobi Sheon, you assume she loves books. She surrounds herself by books every day. But what surprised some of her students is that Sheon loves the sport of baseball.
Students began talking about baseball through a STAAR Challenge writing review in a library lesson.
“The lesson was purely selfish on my part. I love baseball; it is America's game,” Sheon said. “It can be as stately as the President of the United States throwing out the first pitch and as simple as playing catch with your grandpa in the back yard. Anyone can play it. That is its gift.”
Students reviewed poetry elements through the poem, Casey at the Bat. They read two articles, The History of Baseball and the Basics of Baseball looking for context clues and the main idea in each publication. The students, then, used all of their new and background knowledge of baseball to synthesis a way that a disabled person could play the game, too.
Sheon uses an electric wheelchair to perform her job duties as a librarian and challenged the students to use what they had learned and find a way for her to play the game she loves, baseball.
Sheon brought in one of her manual wheelchairs and let the students sit and roll around in it, so they could problem-solve, troubleshoot, and figure out ways for Sheon to bat and play in the infield and outfield using a T-ball set.
“The sixth graders were all over this assignment,” Sheon said. “I surprised them by taking them outside for 45 minutes to play. For many of them, it was the first time they had played baseball. The smiles on their faces said everything.”
Students tested their theories on ways that Sheon could play baseball while remaining in her wheelchair.
"I enjoyed helping Ms. Sheon get a chance to play,” sixth grader Gracelynn Newton said. “I was so happy to see her hit the ball and that she got to play with us. I was overwhelmed. She helped me realize that how important goals are."
Sheon on said the compassion shown by the students to find ways that she too could enjoy the game of baseball helped her relive a great childhood memory.
“For me, my heart was full,” Sheon said. “I played the game I love thanks to the imagination of some pretty awesome kids.”