When we hear the word Inclusion, we might think about embracing differences. However, it is much more than that. Inclusion really means to appreciate each other’s accomplishments and strengths in order to build a unified team or community, honoring each other’s differences.
It has gone beyond the idea of “being the right thing to do.” Inclusion is a mindset and a set of skills that will follow students even after graduation. It is about creating a safe space where everyone feels respected, supported, valued, and appreciated. In other words, a space where we recognize the gifts each individual brings to the group, no matter where they are coming from or how they got there.
Inclusion is not just a word used in our school and our community. When inclusion works, you start seeing it, hearing it. We are no longer complying with what others say we should do, nor being inclusive only when someone is watching. Instead, it is about creating amazing environments for amazing people to live amazing experiences. Inclusion is in your hands.
During Inclusion Week in our school, students will have the opportunity to learn more about Inclusion through diverse activities in morning meetings, read alouds, and throughout the week. Dr. Lea Waters’ visit to ASFM will also give our community and staff more tools to educate, enrich ourselves, and apply in our everyday life.
In the end, Inclusion comes down to three main actions and one main message: open our hearts, educate our minds, and make it happen.
By: Yvette Trejo, Third Grade Learning Specialist