In celebration of National Inclusive Education Month in Ontario, Community Living Ontario invited elementary school aged children (ages 4-14) from across Ontario to participate in a contest that promotes and raises awareness about inclusive education. The intent was to have students and classrooms to begin thinking about inclusion and start a conversation about how a diverse class offers better educational experience for all students. This year the contest was very well received and as a result we received an overwhelming number of submissions form across Ontario. After going through each and every video, story and poem, which were all great in their own way, Community Living Ontario is proud to announce the winners of 2015/2016 Together, We’re Better Contest!
1st place: Ms Jam’s K2 class
Janet I. McDougald Public School, Mississauga
Prize- Interactive Whiteboard
Runner up: St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School , Windsor
GRADE 1 Prize – Pizza party for class
1st place Prize – Mini tablet with wireless speaker
Grade 6 Student
Rideau Heights Public School, Kingston, Ontario
My school is definitely better because everyone is together. Evan is a boy in my class that has a disability. Evan may seem different but it’s not his fault. Everyone has problems, some people hide them and some people tell others. Evan is forced to show his problems to the world, every day. If you keep reading you’ll realize that it’s not a bad thing AT ALL!!!!! Evan is 12 years old but his mind has developed to a much younger age. Don’t let him fool you! He’s very smart! It’s hard to explain what goes on in his mind, but he has distinct ways of communicating with people. I don’t know his whole vocabulary but I’ve learned a few. Its really not that hard as long as someone is paying attention! It is almost like Evan has his own version of sign language. Evan is one of the bravest people I know because he tests his limits everyday and that makes him an amazing classmate. He works hard every trying to get stronger by walking up stairs. Every class needs a person like Evan to remind them that pushing yourself is important. I am sure that one day he will be able to run around and play catch with his friends. The saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” really explains Evan’s situation. He may look different to you and others, but on the inside he is the exact same as any other person:)).
2nd place Prize– Tablet
Grade 5/6 Class St Vincent Catholic Elementary School , Oakville
3rd place Prize – Pizza party for class
Upper Thames Elementary School, Mitchell, Ontario