May 19 2015

Memorial School Students Create Assembly With Message of Inclusiveness

By: Rich Hosford

A trio of Memorial School students was recognized at the latest School Committee meeting for their work in helping to spread the philosophy of inclusiveness in the school and on the playground. 


Two of the students, Bella and Brooke, had written a skit on the theme of “inclusiveness” that they performed during an assembly at the school. The skit included students from the LABBB classroom, a program for special education students, and the message was that every student should be treated equally and included in activities. One of the LABBB students, Arshiyah, was also at the School Committee meeting in recognition of her work and participation in the project. 


“We like to take the opportunity to celebrate all the things happening in Memorial,” school Principal Deb Dressler said,” 


Dressler introduced Ms. Conceison and Ms. Beers who worked on this project with the students. She said they also work on an interchange program between the LABBB classroom and the rest of the school, having the special education students come into other classrooms and brining students into the LABBB room to meet with students there.  


“There are two terrific fifth graders I’d like to have come up now,” she continued, bringing up Bella and Brooke, along with their friend Arshiyah. “The girls worked hard to create an opportunity for all the fifth graders to learn about inclusion and feel more comfortable knowing and learning with students with different learning styles. I’m proud of the girls for building what is a lifelong quality - and that is caring about each other.” 


A video of the assembly was then played for the School Committee and the audience in the room. (You can watch it here)


Assistant Superintendent Patrick Larkin said he was happy to see these kinds of stories, which differ from the unfortunately more common stories of students bullying and excluding each other.  


“I never see stories like this, kids going out of their way to make sure we include all of their peers,” he said. “This is exactly the great thing we want to brag about – our great kids and the inclusive schools we are fostering.”


Christine Monaco, the committee chair, asked the girls how the project came about. 


“We like playing with the kids from the LABBB room on the playground,” Brooke said. “We noticed that some kids don’t always include them as much as they should. From our experience playing with them we know they are fun and nice to be around and we wanted to make sure the other kids knew that.” 


“They are not different from anyone else, they are part of our school and shouldn’t be treated differently,” Bella added. 


Monaco suggested the students were also celebrating everyone’s differences and Bella jumped in to agree. 


“As we said in the video ‘If everyone were the same the world would be very boring,’” she said. 


Members of the School Committee praised the girls for their work and the school and their teachers for supporting them. 


“Congratulations, excellent work and something you girls obviously put a lot of work into,” Thomas Murphy said. 


“I’d just like to tell you girls that I think you’re awesome,” Martha Simon told the girls. 


Bella, Brooke, Arshiyah and their teachers Ms. Conceison and Ms. Beers (Courtesy Patrick Larkin)

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