04 Apr Chloe’s Cause Helps to End the “R” Word
“An amazing thing can happen when hundreds of students get together make a difference”, stated Gina Davenport, Assistant Principal of Old Mill High School.
Today, Chloe’s Cause sponsored an “End the Word” campaign at Old Mill High School. Students were asked to make a pledge to not using the word “retard” or variations of this word. To symbolize respect for all students, they painted their hand print on a mural dedicated to disability awareness. “Having hundreds of hand print on a wall outside of our media center is a very outward sign to the student body that the ‘R’ word is not acceptable”, stated Gina Davenport, Assistant Principal. “Students see the hand prints as they walk the halls, friends point out their hands, and begin to explain why it is important to create respect in the community. Conversations like this impact the whole school culture.”
This project was originally proposed by the Best Buddies Chapter President Samantha Swingle, a senior at Old Mill. Samantha said in a speech to her peers, “being involved in Best Buddies has not just been great for the students with disabilities, it has taught me important things too.” This Best Buddies chapter was started in the Fall of 2013 through a sponsorship by Chloe’s Cause. Chloe’s Cause is committed to helping children and families with Down Syndrome.
The Best Buddies program pairs kids with disabilities with non-disabled peers to help them foster a respectful and genuine relationship. “Buddy Pairs” are encouraged to attend fun events (movies, sporting events, dances, etc,) so that both members can learn to respect one another. Ann Stephanos, Chloe’s Cause board member participated in this event by addressing the students. She spoke of the importance of ending the use of the R-word because of how hurtful the word is to people with disabilities and their families. Her personal examples had an impact on the teens gathered for this cause.
If you would like more information on Best Buddies, please contact your local Best Buddies chapter.
If you would like to be invoked in Chloe’s Cause, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and describe how you would like to help.