This past week at Lulu Ross Elementary School in Milford, DE, students from first to fifth grade shared their love of the Golden Rule as they celebrated Respect Week. Aimed at educating children about equality, Respect Week helps kids to understand the abilities of their fellow students and community members that have intellectual disabilities. Funds raised from this week’s activities helped fund Special Olympics Delaware, an organization that provides year-round programing of quality sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities and cognitive delays.
“As educators we need to make sure that at a young age our students understand that our community is very diverse,” said Tania Alexander, Vice Principal at Lulu Ross Elementary. “They are learning that all people are different and that everyone should be included.”
On Monday, Respect bracelets and necklaces went on sale as all proceeds were donated to Special Olympics Delaware. On Tuesday, all Lulu Ross students received a Respect sticker to wear in support of respecting others. On Wednesday, Project Unify Club students and staff who purchased Respect t-shirts wore them and on Thursday, students “Pledged Respect” by signing the school banner. On Friday, all students recited a Respect pledge which was presented on the live announcements by the Project Unify Club ambassadors.
Vice Principal Alexander states that although Respect Week is only five days long, teachers and staff continue to educate students throughout the year on the importance of respecting others through programs like Project Unify and Positive Behavior Strategy. “To children this young, the word respect can be an abstract idea so we ensure that they can recognize respect in real life experiences,” said Alexander. “We must recognize that some of our students may not see this at home. Our kids need to see exactly what respect looks like, what it sounds like.”
Fifth grader Laura Fulton, who is a an ambassador for Project Unify and on school council, was one of the students to lead the charge during Respect Week. “I like that Respect Week helps the Special Olympics, they help people with disabilities participate in activities with everyone else.” said Fulton. “Respect Week tells us that everybody is equal and that we should help other people.”
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