In celebration of National Inclusive Education Month in Ontario, Community Living Ontario invited elementary school aged children (ages 4-14) from across Ontario to participate in a contest that promotes and raises awareness about inclusive education. The intent was to have students and classrooms to begin thinking about inclusion and start a conversation about how a diverse class offers better educational experience for all students.
From the Community Living Ontario website: “This year the contest was very well received and as a result we received an overwhelming number of submissions form across Ontario. After going through each and every video, story and poem, which were all great in their own way, Community Living Ontario is proud to announce the winners of 2015/2016 Together, We’re Better Contest!”
With that announcement came the news that our very own Kindergarten “A” class at Upper Thames Elementary School in Mitchell, Ontario placed third overall!
Under the guidance of their teacher, Karen Hocking, the Early Childhood Educator, Jamie Dow, and the Educational Assistant, Sue Heckman, the children made a mural and a book celebrating their diverse classroom. They submitted their book to the contest and not only won third prize, but a class pizza party as well.
“I am sure this recognition is a proud moment for Upper Thames staff”, stated Superintendent of Education Peggy Blair. “On behalf of Avon Maitland, I would like to thank Principal Paula Robinson and staff for having little ones learn about acceptance of peers.”
“The kids were so excited they couldn’t sit still so we had to take the photo (above) multiple times”, remarked Adam Sipione, Communications staff member for Avon Maitland.
The original copy of the book is still at Community Living headquarters but the following is sample collage of just a few pages:
Congratulations to Kindergarten “A” and all staff involved!