Student Voices

Inclusion in Greenwich: Come Together and Unified Sports at GHS

Olivia Schnur|December 1, 2020

Across Greenwich, there are a number of programs whose focus is the inclusion of all students in town. The Come Together club at GHS creates partnerships for the semester, facilitating new friendships. Club leaders Margaret Tracey and Louisa Bound have provided pairings for a number of underclassmen as well as upperclassmen, working closely with Ms. Semmes, a special education teacher at GHS who involves many of her interested students in the program. According to Margaret, their club takes place primarily during lunch, where “a lot of students at [GHS] get very overwhelmed, students with or without disabilities.” They aim to have everyone sitting with at least one other person. With the extremely complicated block schedule at GHS, Margaret and Louisa must put together seamless assignments for their members. According to Margaret, “It takes a lot of communication. The goal is that the members will bring their partners to sit with their friend groups, find a pattern that works for them both.”

As they move forward with the 2020-2021 school year, they are looking for young people to continue their work so their club can continue to flourish.

Outside of Come Together, Margaret is also the head of GHS Unified Sports alongside three other students: Patrick, Caroline and Elena. As of last year, the team is a varsity sport. They have set practice times as well as tournaments in a normal year. The team incorporates a variety of sports into their training plan (ex. Soccer this fall!) and competes against other high school teams.

When asked what they thought of Greenwich’s efforts to be inclusive of people with developmental disabilities, both Margaret and Louisa responded with positive views.

“Each person chooses to be a part of Come Together. We want each person to want to be there. Some members are mentor rather than partners. This way, the setup has a positive impact and is comfortable for everyone who participates” (Louisa).

“Greenwich is a very inclusive town, with organizations like Abilis which organizes events not only for those with different abilities but incorporates the town as a whole” (Margaret).

As seniors this year, both girls would love to see similar programs in the three middle schools. As a message on inclusion in Greenwich, Margaret had one universal comment:

“It’s not just about recognizing those with physical disabilities, but making it a human empathy

thing. You should be kind to everyone.”

You can follow GHS Unified Sports on Instagram @ghsunifiedsports

For further info on Come Together, you can email Margaret and Louisa by email:

margaret.tracey@greenwichschools.org

l ouisa.bound@greenwichschools.org



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