GREENWICH — Lessons and educational experiences can come in many forms — and at any age.

At Greenwich Christian Preschool, a lesson came in the form of another kid in a wheelchair. The other youngsters learned that there’s nothing scary or strange about a child using four wheels to get around.

An art show at the preschool in central Greenwich also raised thousands of dollars to help research a very rare disease that afflicts 7-year-old Sam Buck.

Sharon Kalinski, director at the school, said the preschoolers made friends with Sam easily. “The kids just crowded around him like he was an old friend,” she said.

Sam, who is a student at Glenville School, was diagnosed Vanishing White Matter Disease, a condition that damages brain tissue and leads to mobility problems. The preschool raised $2,800 for The VWM Families Foundation, which is aiming to find a way to slow the progression of the fatal illness.

Besides raising money for thye good cause, Kalinski said the kids learned something important at the Jan. 30 event at the preschool on Indian Rock Lane.

“Young children are very open-minded,” she said. Kalinski hopes to build on that foundation, showing that kids who have physical handicaps are nothing to be anxious about.

“They learned acceptance of others, and to be kind-hearted and generous,” the preschool educator said. “We are all alike, no matter what our appearances are.”

Kalinski said she read stories to her students about kids who use wheelchairs. “We talked about how some people use wheelchairs to get around, it’s not uncommon,” she said.

Parents who attended the benefit purchased artwork — made by their kids — that had been matted and framed for display by volunteers.

More information on the nonprofit is available at