Students Begin To See Things In a Whole New Light

This is just the kickoff of the “Choose to Include” campaign at Lee Elementary.  It’s the combined efforts of the Lee Student Council and the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) classroom teacher, Vicky Damico, using the “Choose to Include” program funded by the Special Olympics, Michigan.

“As a school we are focusing on “Choose to Include” all year. This opportunity opens doors for us to spend time celebrating our differences and our unique superpowers. Our strength at Lee is our ability to recognize and celebrate how our differences lead to our strength. Throughout the year we will be doing something to include people with different types of disabilities,” said Lee Elementary Principal Angie Jefferson.

In addition to glasses, students and staff were encouraged to wear white Oct. 13 because white is the color of blindness awareness. They celebrated their eyesight with the international theme of the day “Love your eyes.”

“As a Student Council we are partnering with the Special Olympics and looking at different kinds of ‘unique’ abilities. We want students to recognize that we are all different in some ways and in other ways have things in common.  All of those things make us uniquely us,” said Student Council advisor Vikki Boersma. 

On World Sight Day, student council members shared announcements at school about eye health and eye protection. In the library, students watched a short video about how Louis Braille created the braille-system of writing for blind people.

“It’s all about inclusion and wanting to teach our students that just because someone may have to do things differently, it doesn’t mean they can’t be included,” said Jefferson. 

This is just the first of the “Choose to Include” days that will be held throughout the year at Lee. Through the Special Olympics program the school was also able to obtain library books that discuss inclusion, differences in people, and how to be a good friend. 

During the year, Lee students will also partner with students in the ASD program around the school to play games and include them in daily activities. The school also received funding to get special sports equipment for students to be able to participate in things that fit within their special abilities.

During other months the school will be celebrating Epilepsy Awareness, Down Syndrome Awareness, Autism Awareness and Healthy Heart month. These months were specifically selected because there are students at Lee Elementary who have been diagnosed with these conditions.