All of Grayson County's first, fourth and fifth graders became superheroes last week. BRDC guide and wildlife rehabilitator, Darin Handy presented a wonderful program about mammals; marsupials in particular, of the Blue Ridge.
In an assembly style program, Darin created an analogous program about superheroes and villains. The students shouted out their favorite superheroes and each school had a "Fantastic Four" all with special powers to defeat evil. Darin, however, played the role of the evil villain and created special armies that carried viruses and diseases that the superheroes of Grayson County were hard pressed to defeat.
All the while, there was a very special "true" superhero in their midst. As Darin acknowledged that the "Fantastic Four" and all the other superheroes of comic books and movies were not real, he presented the students with a mammal that could defeat these nasty villains. The finale of the program was the unveiling of this special creature, the only marsupial of North America and a common resident of Grayson County, the OPOSSUM!
Wildlife ambassador and marsupial extraordinaire, Maggie was the star of the day. She showed up to save the kids from these horrible diseases. Not only is she a superhero, she is a super-duper superhero! Maggie was found as a baby opossum and was taken to a wildlife rehabilitator who deemed her too unhealthy to be released into the wild due to a debilitating eye disorder that rendered her blind in one eye. There was an appeal to the game department to allow Maggie to become a wildlife ambassador and help educate students about respecting wildlife and the environment.
With the knowledge and power to protect this very special mammal by educating their family and friends, Maggie awarded the students of Grayson County "superhero" status too!