Warrior Buddies celebrate Inclusion Week at MCHS
Members of McHenry High School’s Warrior Buddies club are preparing for a week celebrating everyone’s differences and similarities as part of a worldwide effort to focus on inclusion.
Spread the Word Inclusion kicks off Monday with a special presentation for students during the school day. It is part of a global campaign to focus on bringing people together by using language that is inclusive rather than divisive.
With partners Special Olympics and Best Buddies International, the Spread the Word movement is meant to create inclusive places to learn, work and live, regardless of intellectual or developmental differences. This is the fourth year that McHenry High School has participated in the effort.
Under the direction of teachers Madison Karr and Kim Jacobson, who are advisors to Warrior Buddies, the week continues with sharing videos with students to highlight inclusive language and behavior. Staff members are being encouraged to wear jeans on Tuesday in exchange for a small donation to Warrior Buddies.
On Friday, students will be creating an Inclusion Garden during lunch periods in the cafeteria. They can express what inclusion means to them on flower stickers, and take a pledge to make an effort to be inclusive.
When flower stickers are collected, they’ll be displayed as a garden on the wall in the cafeteria.
Grace Markovitz, a West Campus senior who presented information about Inclusion Week at a recent faculty meeting, said she hopes understanding of everyone’s differences leads to nicer language and behavior. She said she knows what it is like to not be included, and that makes her passionate about bringing people together.
“That is the only way we’ll make a difference,” she said.
One of the campaign’s main points is to encourage people to recognize the humanity of everyone, regardless of differences.
Last year, Warrior Buddies sponsored a campaign with Spread the Word that focused on encouraging people to not use the word “retard.” They conducted similar activities to focus on how hurtful the “r-word” is and to discourage people from using it.