About KoB Puppets
Fourteen year old Valerie Perkins enjoys making new friends with a lot of different people. She is actively involved in her school as a peer tutor, on the cheerleading squad, playing baseball, softball, basketball, and working with the student government at Woodburn Junior High.
Valerie is independent and very mature for her age. Realizing "the coolest people I know are people who make up their own minds--not the ones who go along just because everyone else is doing it," Valerie has chosen not to use alcohol and other drugs just to be part of the crowd.
Valerie lives at home with her older sister and brother, Angela and Norman, her younger sister, Erica, and her mother and father, Cynthia and Nathaniel. The two eldest Perkins boys have moved out of the family home. Franklin is in his junior year at the University of Washington and Elias is in the Air Force. Valerie's family is very close. They enjoy different family traditions like "book night," and they often participate in activities which celebrate their African-American heritage.
Valerie was born with spina bifida, and she doesn't mind talking with people about her birth difference. Spina bifida is an opening in one or more of the vertebrae of the spinal column. Not long after her birth, Valerie underwent surgery to close the opening. Because of the spina bifida, Valerie has minimal feeling in her hips and upper legs and no feeling in her lower legs.
As a young child, Valerie spent a lot of time with a physical therapist. Her physical therapist, Roger, also helped Valerie learn to walk using braces and a walker, and then, when she was older, to use her braces and crutches. Valerie can do all of the things other kids her age do, but she enjoys cheerleading and shopping the most! As Valerie often says, "Spina bifida is just one small part of who I am. I'm not going to let it keep me from trying anything I want to try!"About KoB Puppets
I'm Shaun and I'm 16. I have had a really hard time since my brother died. Things are better for me now since I can talk about my feelings but I sure miss him.
It began when my brother died after a bad car accident. Since then, I became shy and quiet. I didn't really want to talk to anybody and I felt pressure about hanging out with people, talking or doing things. I just didn't think people would understand me or what I was feeling. I used to do lots of things with my brother and everything changed after he passed away. I started to sleep a lot and I just stayed in my room all the time. My parents kept telling me to "snap out of it" but the feelings wouldn't go away.
One night I was watching television and I saw a PSA (Public Service Announcement) for a local Mental Health Association with a toll-free number to call. I talked to Mom and Dad and we all agreed I should make the call. I did. I talked to a counselor; she helped a lot and now I see a therapist every week. I joined a group of kids who have the same kinds of feelings as me and we share a lot about what we are going through. Turns out I have clinical depression and now, with talking and sharing my feelings, I have a better understanding of what goals I need to set and what I can do to deal with these feelings. It helped my parents a lot too.
I am feeling a lot better now and some days I feel pretty good. Now I know that if a person is feeling sad, angry, or even numb for a really long time and those feelings will not go away, then he or she needs to reach out and talk to someone. I'm glad I decided to get some help.About KoB Puppets
Hey Kids, great to see you all! I had so much fun talking with you.and I'm glad that you came to see me and my friends here at the Kids on the Block. Now that you are a here, I'll tell you a little more about myself. I am 11 years old. You may know my brother, Shaun James. He is only one of my 4 brothers. Can you believe that? I have 4 of them (YUCK!). I get along with all of them, even though they say that I'm stubborn sometimes.
When I'm not hanging out with my brother Shaun, I love to spend time roller skating, and I also take ballet lessons (which I just love). I spend a lot of time with Shaun though, because he sometimes is sad, and doesn't feel like hanging out with his friends, so I help him out as much as I can. It's sometimes hard for me to understand why Shaun feels the way he does, and why he doesn't want to do things with me or my other brothers. But I do talk to him and he lets me know how he is feeling, which is important because I love Shaun very much.
Do you guys have any brothers or sisters? How many do you have? Are you a big brother or sister? Or the little brother or sister? If you do or have any other questions for me just e-mail me, and let me know if you have a brother or sister who gets sad sometimes, and tell me what you do or say to cheer them up.
Well, I have to go back to practicing ballet now, but I really do hope that I hear from you soon. Take care for now. Bye Bye!About KoB Puppets