Two pet rats rats caused more than a commotion in the gymnasium of Osgoode Public School on the morning of Tuesday, November 21, 2014. No strangers to a roaring raucous of rambunctious young students, the Two Pet Rats have become local celebrities what with their school tours and presentations across Canada and into the United States. Just who are these “two pet rats” and what were they doing at Osgoode Public School in the first place?
By now, many have heard of the infamous “2 Pet Rats” who have been scurrying across the country delivering their message of “acceptance” to thousands upon thousands of young students. Through their two published picture books, book tours, interviews, and fun videos, Tommy and Melanie Glatzmayer and their “two pet rats” have taken school assemblies by storm.
What began as a difficult experience for the brother/sister duo, morphed into a labour of love that would help thousands understand that we are all different, and we are all special. In grade one, Tommy came home from school crying because his friends were teasing his sister, Melanie. His friends did not understand what made Melanie different. Six year old Tommy decided then and there that he wanted to write a book to teach his friends about his sister’s rare syndrome, Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) while still entertaining them. In no time, the book “Tommy and Melanie have Two Pet Rats and One Syndrome” was created by Tommy and his mother Nathalie Wendling. So began the series of school tours for this tag team, who, along with their two pet rats, have mastered the art of presenting their message of acceptance to audiences big and small, far and wide.
During Osgoode Public School’s Anti-Bullying Week, Tommy and Melanie and their two pet rats were invited to present their message. This was their first visit to the school, and they received rave reviews from both students and staff alike.
Osgoode Public School principal Carmen McKay said the students were not sure what they were in for, as their teachers had not revealed much about the young pair, and anxiously anticipated what this assembly was all about.
“The students were beyond excited when they were asked if they wanted to see the rats. They were roaring and cheering, and loved the hilarious video.”
Along with the fun and excitement of having two pet rats in their school, the students enjoyed the interview segment of the presentation. Osgoode Public School’s only male teacher, Corey Fitzgerald, is no stranger to Tommy and Melanie, as he taught Tommy last year at Kars on the Rideau Public School. Following their interview, the students were invited to ask questions.
“The students asked a lot of questions and it was clear that they understood Tommy and Melanie’s message is acceptance of everyone, and that it is okay to be different. You are fine just the way you are and everybody has a talent. Our school has 227 students from junior kindergarten to grade 6 and they all had a wonderful time,” said McKay.
Tommy and Melanie and their two pet rats donated copies of their books to the school library for all of the students to enjoy.
For more information about Tommy and Melanie and their two pet rats, and upcoming presentations, visit their website at www.twopetrats.com.