All of our girls graduated from the same high school, in 2004, 2005 and 2009, and last night Chuck and I went to the Homecoming football game.
A few years ago they started a program called Sparkles, where some of the girls from the life skills class can try out for and become cheerleaders. Beth was in the Life skills class while she attended there but they never had anything like this! It was great to see all the cheerleaders on the sidelines, then lining up for the team as they ran off the field at halftime. Then all the cheerleaders stood in line and held the giant banner as the team ran back onto the field after halftime. It was just nice to see the school accepting them and including them in their activities.
When Beth attended there, the Life skills class was rarely, if ever, invited to assemblies or class activities. Beth wasn't in the Senior group photo for the yearbook, they didn't take part in Spirit Week, it was really sad. I asked the teacher about it a couple times but was always told that the kids didn't want to do it, or that it was too difficult to take some of the kids out of class and still have enough help in the class... I don't know, I always thought those were just excuses.
Last night they announced the Royal Court and the Homecoming King and Queen. Then the announcer said, "And for the first time ever, we'd like to introduce, from our Life skills class, the Homecoming Duke and Duchess ..." Oh my word! I thought that was amazing!
This school, who for years would barely acknowledge kids who had special needs, is now making changes. They are realizing that people with special needs are people too and they DO want to be included.
The Duke and Duchess. I thought that was awesome.