Poland students experience a 'Wonder' of their own


“I am Auggie Pullman,” dozens of people proclaim in a video made by the Children’s Craniofacial Association.

Auggie Pullman is the protagonist of “Wonder,” a book by R.J. Palacio that has been adapted into a film starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay. “Wonder” tells the story of a young boy living with a craniofacial difference, which, according to CCA, refers to an abnormality of the face and/or head.

Fifth-through-eighth-grade Poland students have been reading the book in class. Teachers and guidance counselors are using the book to combat bullying.

“Despite our differences, we need to be kind to one another,” English teacher Lori Moncilovich said. “The fact that we are all different and unique is something that should be celebrated.”

On Tuesday, the school hosted an “Auggie Pullman” of its own: Freddie Seitz, 25, a 2011 Poland Seminary High School grad. He, his mother, Rose, and brother Robbie shared their experiences of living with Freddie’s craniofacial difference. The family also will visit South Range schools next week after students there view the “Wonder” movie.

Within the first five years of his life, Freddie had 19 surgeries. In all, he’s had more than 50. As his mother explained, children with craniofacial conditions often require surgeries to help them breathe and eat.

Rose said that her son first began to notice he was different when he was in the second grade.

Read more of his story in Wednesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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