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Rose thrives with EC inclusion

THURS.| 4-18-24 | OPINION

     Every child deserves a space where they feel welcomed and respected. Rose has a program through the Student Government Association called the Exceptional Children (EC) Committee where every Friday, Students go to classrooms with special needs students and play games or make crafts with them. I heard about this program before I came to Rose and knew I wanted to be a part of it. I have been in the program for almost two years now and love it.

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Contributed Photo

     Along with seeing them on Fridays, we have an EC celebration almost every holiday where we do activities and have lunch. I love getting to hang out with all my friends and celebrate whatever holiday is coming up. Most recently we had an EC Easter party where we had lunch, did crafts and had an easter egg hunt. The kids were overjoyed when finding the eggs and seeing all the candy they collected. 

     Creating an inclusive space for these children has an immense impact on our school culture. High school can be scary and everyone knows what it feels like not to fit in but, in my experience, Rose does an excellent job of including EC kids in everyday school activities. 

     Even outside of EC classes Students at Rose help create a friendly environment for kids who are differently abled to make connections. Throughout the school, there are students that everyone knows and loves and I've seen countless occasions where peers will go out of their way to say hey and spark a conversation with them. Students who take the time to show kindness to others are what makes Rose so amazing.

     Last year I had the privilege of going to prom with one of my EC friends and It was such a sweet experience. Seeing the smile on his face when he was dancing with all the other juniors and Seniors was priceless. Doing simple things to be inclusive can make memories these kids will never forget.

     Before the dance, I was able to talk to the mom of my date and she told me how impactful this day was. My date had never been to a school dance or a big celebration like that and his mom was so thankful for the opportunities Rose has to offer. She was brought to tears at the sight of her son on this special day. Hearing these stories makes me so grateful to be a part of such an influential program and to be at a school like Rose.

     Being inclusive doesn't always mean throwing big parties or events, just being willing to talk to someone lets them know you care and means a lot. Putting in a little bit of effort can create lifelong bonds and bring our school community together.

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