Cool Kid of the Week

Tarrell Jones, also known as TJ, has a special talent of making you smile. He has a bright and bubbly personality that continues to stay with you throughout the day. He is a proud first grader at Toomer Elementary School this year, where he transitioned from special education to the general classroom. He attends class daily with the help of a special educator, but strives to do most activities on his own. “He is the sunshine of our classroom when he comes in the morning. He always has a bright smile, and he always wants to participate in everything we do, academically and physically,” says his teacher, Ms. Ringer. When asked what he enjoys most about school, he responds with “everything in first grade, not kindergarten… because it’s awesome.”

Tarrell is loved and acknowledged in the school for his humor, energy, and the joy he brings to those around him. He is a very confident and does not let his physical limitations hold him back from regular activities.  He enjoys being active in the playground, as he interacts with friends and often rides the slide with his teacher. In fact, Tarrell’s favorite class is PE, where he participates in various sports.  “I love playing basketball, and tennis, and dodgeball, and baseball… and only a little bit of football,” TJ says.  In addition to sports, TJ loves spending time on the computer, especially typing, youtube, and games.

One special memory that Ms. Ringer has of TJ is when the class was learning about different cultures around the world. Ms. Ringer shared videos of different dance cultures, and asked students to demonstrate them in front of the class. TJ volunteered and performed his version of a Hawaiian dance, and simply blew everyone away.  The whole class was entertained as TJ danced his heart out and even teachers down the hallway came in to watch him. “It was a sight to see,” Ms. Ringer says, “and I think that made his day, because he kept on dancing all day throughout the hall.”

TJ has a great presence in the classroom, and is very intelligent. He works very hard in his studies, as he pushes himself to excel. Ms. Ringer sees a bright future for TJ as she says, “Physically, Tarrell may be challenged. However, academically, what a bright and shining star he is and will be in his academic career.” TJ is a special student that you must meet in person. He is a joy to be around and has a great energy that spreads to everyone around him.

15 thoughts on “Cool Kid of the Week

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  1. That is a really good article about TJ. Kudos to Domnique for helping TJ every step of the way. I’m so proud of him and all of his strives that makes. I know that he’ll be a standout amongst his peers. Not because of his disability, but his attitude and personality (he’s also handsome ;)).He is very bright and aware of his surroundings. I see TJ being a computer wiz. I never showed him how to use my phone, but he figured it out and found a game that I didn’t even know that I had. Keep up the good work T. Jones Jr. and know that Daddy loves you and is proud of you.

    T. Jones Sr.

  2. Can’t wait for that. He just told me he would.

  3. Please be on the lookout for a video of TJ for Cable 22 APS Perspectives in the weeks to come. Let’s hope he performs his dance for us! 😉

  4. Thank you very much for writing such a nice story on my grandson TJ (aka Shawn). He has taught our family what true determination is. I have no doubt that big things are in store for him in the future.

  5. There is my nephew doing big things once again!!! I love you TJ keep up the great work. I love the way the writer accurately depicts him throughout and I can hear his infectious laugh!! Great job!!

  6. Dominique,
    You have done a great job as a mom to my grandson, thanks for everything. As you now see your work and efforts are paying off. Love you guys! Darrell

  7. Good Job TJ I’m so proud of youI love You, keep up the good work.
    GrandPa Darrell Jones

  8. I’m also glad you liked the story. As his mother I always worried about his advancements in school but I noticed he is more persistent in an inclusion class. He always wants to be like the other kids. He’s learned so much from them. He also has wonderful teachers who love him and help me continue to push him academically. I appreciate this article for highlighting that even though he is special needs, he will still excel academically. 🙂 Thank you.

    Mommy loves you TJ <3

  9. Go head TJ baby! It makes me feel good to know that we have some one to represent special need kids in Atlanta Public schools. I am so proud of u!

  10. “TJ” has been a joy since he became a part of the Toomer family last year.I dubbed him ” Speed Racer” as he maneuvers through the halls. He’s also a speech success story.
    Way to go, TJ !!!

  11. Glad you enjoyed it! Which school does your son attend?

  12. I just loved the story. Thank you for sharing. My son is also a kid with special needs. That is joyful for similiar families like me and also encouraging for inclusion at schools. Because sometimes teachers tend to keep a distance.

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