Project Unify held a recreational day for students at Camp High Hopes Wednesday.
The goal for Camp High Hopes is to create opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Wednesday, the camp joined forces with Special Olympics Project Unify to foster high hopes for special ed students.
"The overall goal and promotion of Project Unify is inclusiveness," says Project Unify director Michelle Haney. "Creating a school culture, a community culture of inclusion where special ed students don't feel like they're shoved under a rug or off to the side."
The project has a sure-fire way to make sure no one is ignored at their events.
"We pair up a one-to-one ratio of special ed students with a gen ed student, and they are buddies all day," says Haney.
And what was there for the buddies to do?
"We fished, we ate some s'mores, played a little football, some basketball," said West High School student Sheehan Levine.
"Paddle boating, bingo, basketball," added East Middle School student Hope Gee.
With canoeing, archery, scavenger hunts and everything in between taking place at Camp High Hopes, the day's activities are fun for students and volunteers alike.
"The music's good," says North Middle School para-educator Vickie Rose. "You can dance, get crazy with the kids. I had one boy over there go like this, and I shook a little, and he says, 'You going to dance, Mrs. Rose?' and I say, 'Only if you're going to get up and dance.'"
The best part? It allows everyone, no matter what age, to be a kid.
"I'm grown up," says Rose. "They're a kid. I can act like a kid again. And they love it. They love to laugh. And if you can't laugh with them, this isn't the place to be because we have a great time."
And, at the end of the day, having fun is all that matters.
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