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Highlands/Odyssey Promotes Unity and Inclusion at Community Day 
Community Day at Highlands

On Wednesday, October 14th, the community of Highlands Elementary and Odyssey Charter came together to celebrate differences and promote inclusion. The 2015 Community Day focused on building the school community and celebrating diversity. For this event, the diversity addressed was more than ethnicity; it also addressed special and regular education students, and students attending Highlands and Odyssey. This is the 4th year for the event.

A grant from the Appleton Education Foundation and support from the Citywide Parent Network allowed for two speakers to present: Peggy Eserkaln and Alex Guild. Throughout the day, students were divided into “neighborhoods,” encouraging special and regular education students from the two schools to work together. The day emphasized the Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) framework and the three B’s: Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be Safe.

Peggy Eserkaln has been a teacher for over 25 years. She easily caught the attention of the groups of students sitting on the gym floor. She taught them simple games that would encourage them to make new friends and include others. The room rippled with laughter as  teachers acted out the "Mirror" game, which is played with one person copying another's actions and gestures. The focus was humor and interaction, with the prevailing message of "you can have fun with others even if you have nothing in common."

The second speaker, Alex Guild, is a 2-time Special Olympics World Games gold medalist. He spoke about not giving up and trying your hardest. 

The day was a success with students having fun and learning valuable lessons, celebrating diversity, and encouraging students to be aware of the value of all student's abilities.
Posted by lynn.streubel On 09 November, 2015 at 9:57 AM  

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