In celebration of National Inclusive Education Month, 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 classes to begin thinking about inclusion and start a conversation about how a diverse classroom offers better educational experience for all students. We received many submissions from students across Ontario. Community Living Ontario really appreciates and would love to acknowledge all the students, teachers and classes that took the time out to participate in the contest.
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 2019/2020 Together, We’re Better Contest!
1st Place: Mme Julie Bell and Mme Sancia Norgaard’s JK/SK class at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School in Amherstview
1st Place: Miss Aiken, Miss Belfour & Miss Heckman, Miss McLeod’s kindergarten class at Upper Thames Elementary School in Mitchell
Honourable Mention: Ms. Gasper’s Kindergarten class at Dunwich–Dutton Public School in Dutton
1st Place: Brighter Together – Grade 8 Student Hailey Garvey from Holy Family School
My first day of grade seven I arrived at my school
I saw a new classmate. I thought she seemed cool.
I learned she has autism. Would she like me?
I went to say hi, I thought I should see.
As it turned out we are such a great match.
In gym class we both enjoy a game of catch.
We have lots in common. We always have a good time.
She especially likes it when I bring my slime.
We really like spending our class time together.
With her recess is fun no matter the weather.
Her smile is catching, our whole class knows that’s true.
And she’s great for a hug if you’re feeling blue.
Everyone’s unique. We all have so much to share.
And a friendly smile shows that we care.
Everyone learns things in their own special ways.
But when we learn from each other, it makes for better days.
By including all people we all learn so much more.
And life with my best friend is never a bore.
When we are all the same life is black and white.
But when we celebrate our differences life becomes bright.
2nd Place: Grade 2 Student Levi Barrett from Mapleridge Public School
Some people use computers to write and
Some people use paper.
Some people are quiet talkers and
Some people are loud talkers.
Some people have big faces and
Some people have small faces.
Some people need walkers and wheelchairs and
Some people don’t.
Some people see with glasses and
Some people see without.
Some people need hearing aids to hear and
Some people need headphones when it’s too loud.
Some people work well by themselves and
Some people work better with people.
But no matter how we learn or do things,
Together we’re better!
3rd Place: Together We’re Better – Grade 5 Student Yangchen Chabcha from Hillside Public School
Diversity is important and inclusion is too,
If you leave people out your considered very rude.
Diversity shows your difference and inclusion shows your traits,
if you’re mean to people, you’re only collecting hate.
If you think it’s funny and if you think it’s cool,
Well for a fact it’s actually quite cruel.
Diversity and inclusion is better than rude,
Why would you continue if you already knew?
Together we’re better as you can see
so start helping out and set people free!
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