How Come you walk funny?

Premieres June 27, 2004 at 8 P.M. ET on Discovery Health Channel Canada

"For some of these children, their experience in the program will definitely shape their future. Not only who they will be as people, but hopefully who we will be as a society."
--Heather Gilman, IKP teacher

Symmetree media proudly announces the premiere of How Come You Walk Funny? on Sunday, June 27, at 8 p.m. ET on Discovery Health Channel Canada. Filmmaker Tina Hahn's directorial debut brings us into the unique mixed-ability kindergarten class of teachers Heather Gilman and Paul Alcamo, and the worlds of parents Alison Bowen and Cecilia Chan, as they try and revolutionize attitudes, social preconceptions, early childhood education theory and Canadian ideals of inclusion both within and beyond the classroom.

Finding a good school is tough, but finding a school that works for the Bowen twins is an even bigger challenge: Douglas is an able-bodied, bouncy 4-year old while brother Mark has cerebral palsy from oxygen deprivation when he was born. Their mother has worked hard to include Mark in all aspects of family life, but what happens when it's time for the boys to go to school and meet the real world?

The answer lies tucked away behind a quiet, well-kept neighbourhood in North Toronto at the Bloorview MacMillan Centre School. Hailed by some parents as the utopia of kindergartens, the school's Integrated Kindergarten Program (IKP) is perhaps the only place in the world where committed parents and dedicated teachers deliver a bold childhood education program that marries academic exploration and self-discovery in a "reverse integration" setting that asks able-bodied kids to meet kids with physical challenges on their turf.

Enter a world where walkers and mobility equipment compete for space with scooters and trikes in the halls, where computer voices from communication devices mix with excited children's chatter. This is a place of laughter where achievement triumphs over differences - a world where anything is possible.

Watch a rambunctious class of 4 to 6 year-olds discover the common ground that unites them as they learn to milk a cow, parade in a dragon dance, find their perfect Valentine's match and dig for dinosaur bones in the Alberta Badlands. And witness the challenges and inspiration their parents discover as they try to extend inclusion beyond the classroom.

Following its premiere on Discovery Health Channel Canada, How Come You Walk Funny? will air on Knowledge Network in B.C. and SCN in Saskatchewan.