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Inclusive Schools Week Brings Somers Middle School Students Together

Two kids in gym, one pulling the other on a 4-wheels scooter by rope in a team building Listening, sharing ideas, and working together were some of ways that Somers Middle School students helped each other across the “radioactive” gym floor during a team-building activity during Inclusive Schools Week.

Students worked in teams to devise a plan to get safely across the gym without touching the floor using only each other and the tools available to them – two scooters, two plastic pulleys, and two rubber steppingstones. 

Some teams found success with students using rubber steppingstones under their shoes to shuffle across while towing teammates holding pulleys on the scooters. Other students knelt on the scooters and used the steppingstones on their hands to shimmy across. And when they got stuck, their teammates sprang into action and threw a pulley to help drag them to safety.

two kids working together in projectThe team-building exercise was one of the various all-school activities offered to students in Wednesday’s modified advisory schedule during Inclusive Schools Week at Somers Middle School. 

Wednesday’s schedule also included a mini film festival with short videos on inclusion and anti-bullying, a brainstorming session on ways to make the school more inclusive, an enrichment exercise geared to recognizing what a Champion of Inclusion might look like, and a SMS Club Fair aimed at getting students to join a new activity.

“My favorite activity was the team building in the gym because we all worked together to get our teammates to the other side,” said sixth grader Lila Hantzarides.

Rachel Ehrmann said it was great seeing her fellow sixth graders work together. “It was nice to listen to other people’s ideas and work together,” Ehrmann said.

During Inclusive Schools Week, each day began with a quick 15-minute activity designed to follow the theme of “Unity in Our Community.” Student activities included ways to be conversation starters, door decorating with ideas and encouragement about being more inclusive, brainstorming small things to create change and creating their own Inclusion Superhero.

Kids playing a team building exerciseElena Kellock said she enjoyed the week’s activities and learned many important messages during the activities, but one really stuck out for her. “It really reinforced that to be an upstander you have to say something,” Kellock said. “You can’t just watch.”