Meet Caden Curvin, a soon-to-be fourth-grade student at Vinemont Elementary. Caden is autistic, but that doesn’t define who he is and what he loves. People with autism typically are attached or have a passion for certain things. Caden is no different, but what he enjoys may be a bit of a surprise.
Cullman County School system uses an All-Call system to quickly get information to parents about what is happening in the school system, such as bad weather events or closings. So when the phone rings to inform the parents of the happenings, Caden gets excited. He knows Cullman County Superintendent, Dr. Shane Barnette, is on the other end of the line. Rather you like or dislike the All-Call system, Caden can assure you that it is worth your time to answer and listen as he does every time.
Caden’s mother Megan posted a video last week showing the excitement he felt when Dr. Barnette personally called him after discovering his passion for All-Call’s. Dr. Barnette was so touched he ask Caden to go on a picnic to Sportsmans Lake and chow down on some McDonald’s since that is one place that the two enjoy eating. The excitement in Caden was overwhelming, to say the least. The two decided Wednesday, June 2nd, would be the big day. Lynn Lowery, a McDonald’s Manager, found out what was about to occur and wanted to jump in on the fun. Lowery donated the meals and even backed Caden a “Swag Bag” filled with McDonald’s merchandise and a gift card. Once the food had been picked up, it was off to Sportsmans Lake for the big day. Dr. B and Caden met up and hit it off from the beginning. Caden may be young, but he knows when someone accepts him for who he is, and he immediately felt that acceptance from Barnette. The two talked and asked each other a lot of questions. Dr. Barnette determined that Caden also had a passion for school buses and bus routes. Coincidentally, Barnette collects several things that involve school systems and had a Hot Wheel school bus that he offered up to Caden. Caden is a master when it comes to County Roads and bus numbers. He can tell you every bus number and the County Roads that each bus travels. The kid is a genius. Additionally, Dr. Barnette surprised Caden with an E5 Cullman County School shirt that has now become Caden’s favorite shirt.
The big day has come and gone, but for Caden and Dr. Barnette, their lifetime friendship has just begun. Caden was thankful, telling his mother, “thank you for taking me to eat with Shane Barnette.” He was also excited when Dr. Barnette said to him that he was a polite young man. Finally, Dr. Barnette invited Caden to come by and visit his office and schedule a time to take a bus tour. “It was a pleasure getting to have lunch with Caden. While he was excited, the true blessing was mine. Caden is a wonderful young man that has such a positive attitude. I am looking forward to us connecting again soon.” said Dr. Barnette
We all live a busy lifestyle and sometimes forget the simple things in life like an All-Call. But, the simple things can make the most incredible bonds throughout your life, and for Caden Curvin and Shane Barnette, a simple All-Call has connected the two to be friends for life.