April 21, 2021

Seekonk's Martin Elementary School Promotes Inclusivity During Month-Long Inclusion Events

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Seekonk — Superintendent Rich Drolet and Martin Elementary School Principal Bart Lush are pleased to share that students and staff at the Martin Elementary School have been participating in events that coincide with promoting inclusivity.

To promote inclusivity within the school, staff and students have participated in numerous activities over the past couple of weeks. Past events have coincided with World Down Syndrome Day, and future events planned for April will coincide with Autism Awareness Day. The theme for all events and activities has been "Chose to Include."

"We're grateful to have been awarded the SOMA grant and we want to acknowledge STARS teacher Becki Murray for hosting events that promote and celebrate inclusion," Principal Lush said.

The inclusion events began with fifth grade students and students in the school's STARS Program participating in the "Exploring Around the World" Unified Event. During this event, fifth graders were paired with students in the STARS program to "explore around the world."

Students completed an event at each of the seven continents, which included: jumping over the rivers and mountains in North America, air hockey in South America, frozen tic tac toe in Antarctica, a kangaroo toss in Australia, a mountain tame in Europe, a spice run relay in Asia and an animal relay race in Africa.

To learn more about the events, click here.

These events are being funded through a grant, procured by Murray, from the Special Olympics of Massachusetts for Martin Elementary becoming a Unified Champion School. The grant allowed for the purchase of t-shirts for all of the participants to wear at the Unified Event.
Along with the unified event, students at Martin Elementary also participated in a "Rock Your Socks Day" on March 23 and March 25 in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day. Students and staff also took the "Choose to Include" pledge, which is shared on their JAM board.
Additionally, fifth grade students at Martin Elementary are now making videos of them reading to share with their buddies to continue their friendship.
In the coming days, students will also participate in wearing blue to show their support of Autism Awareness Day and will participate in an inclusion spirit week during the week of April 5. The themes for each day are as follows:
• Monday: Wear Green and Start with Hello
• Tuesday: Wear Red for Respect
• Wednesday: Be Like a Buddy and Dress Like Your Buddy
• Thursday: Be Unique, Wear Mismatched Clothes
• Friday: Be a Hero for Inclusion
"It's great to see the faculty, staff and students at Martin Elementary School participate in this year's Special Olympics of Massachusetts' Unified Events," Superintendent Drolet said. "Thanks to the grant given to Unified Champion Schools, Martin Elementary had the opportunity to participate in its first year of Unified Events. These events did a great job bringing students together and in promoting inclusion."

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