Inclusion Celebration

We celebrated inclusion today and it was amazing!!

As detailed in prior blog posts, PIE has been collaborating with the Department of Education on a contest for all students throughout the system to celebrate inclusion. The contest asked students to answer the following question: “How can your school help to make sure all students with disabilities are welcomed and valued members of the school community?” in any artistic form.

Today, all the students who participated in the contest (over one hundred) were invited to Scholastic Inc. in Soho to celebrate their work. We had a terrific celebration which included  listening to a student string ensemble and choral group perform, and NYS Assemblymember Micah Kellner, himself a person with a disability, speak about how vital inclusion is for students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers alike.

Additionally, a  PIE parent, Diana Mendez, and her son who is in inclusion spoke, along with another student whose parents are also members of PIE. Both students spoke about their experiences in inclusive classrooms and their goals for the future. One student shared that he is  a high school senior about to graduate with a regent’s diploma and enroll in college to study art.

It was truly a wonderful celebration today that honored all students and reminded all those who participated that everyone has differences and by working together we can all succeed.

As part of today’s celebration, a booklet was created portraying many of the student’s artwork and writings that were submitted as part of the contest.  Click here to view the  Inclusion Celebration Art Catalog.