Riverview Elementary School students are celebrating diversity all week long.
The week began with students taking a pledge to “promise to be kind, honest, strong, and positive in all that I say and do. I will be a role model and will do my best to inspire others to make the world a nicer place.”
Diversity Week is intended to educate students and broaden their horizons about disabilities and how individuals adapt to their challenges and persevere.
As part of the program, students in special services classes and their We Help Include Special Kids buddies are getting special recognition this week. Each student is displayed with a photo and body cut out that lists their interests. Several of the students are nonverbal and Riverview staff thought would be a creative and engaging way to allow the rest of the student body to get to know them better.
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Each classroom has “bucket fillers” available for the entire week. The guidance counselor is working with students and staff to guide students to fill buckets with kind words about their peers throughout the week. The teachers will send these home with the students at the end of the week.
On Monday, students received inspirational bracelets. They will get another on Friday that bears the pledge they made to begin the week. Each morning the Pledge of Allegiance is led by special service classrooms. There are five of those at RVES and each one demonstrates a different way to “say” the pledge, including one using a talking device and another using sign language.
During the morning news, prerecorded pieces geared toward the theme that were produced by fifth gradersare aired. Each day has been assigned something specific to be aware of and students were encouraged to wear colors corresponding with that day: Monday was Downs Syndrome Awareness (blue and yellow); Tuesday, Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD Awareness (orange); Wednesday, Autism Awareness (light blue); Thursday, Epilepsy Awareness (purple); and Friday, Asthma Awareness. Instead of a color Friday, students are asked to wear Celebrate Diversity T-shirts.
Also on Friday, first through fifth graders will have a guest speaker, Matt Crisp, a quadriplegic rugby player with The Carolina Crash. Kindergarteners will hear from Becky Lane, a member of Forest Hill Church, who will read aloud and speak with them.
Diversity Week is presented by the Riverview Elementary School Diversity Committee. The committee has the support of administration, PTO, RVES teachers and a group of parents.