ABOVE PHOTO: Sekela Coles, School District Councilperson from Upper Darby was one of the officials attending the rally and who took the pledge. (Photo: Courtesy Ceisler Media)
1,200 Gratz students from grades 6-12 attended a rally celebrating inclusivity of their peers with disabilities and special needs, featuring special guests and student performers
Mastery Charter Schools’ Gratz Campus partnered with the Special Olympics on May 6 and hosted a rally celebrating the inclusivity of students with disabilities and special needs. Over 1,200 students from grades 6-12 gathered in the auditorium and enjoyed a mix of general education and intellectually disabled students give energetic and rousing performances. The rally included cheerleaders, a dance group, poetry and drumline. Between performances, special invited guests took the stage and pledged to “spread the word to end the R word.”
Among those who took the pledge on stage were students from Mastery Charter Schools’ Gratz Campus, Nedia Ralston, Southeast Regional Director for Gov. Tom Wolf, and Sekela Coles, 7th District Councilwoman, Upper Darby.
The R-word is the word ‘retard(ed)’. It’s a hurtful term to those with disabilities because it is exclusive, offensive and derogatory. The campaign asks people to pledge to stop saying the R-word as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for all people.
About Mastery: Mastery Charter Schools and Mastery Schools of Camden form a non-profit school network in Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey, serving over 12,000 students in grades K-12. Our vision is to create schools that are joyful, authentic communities where students learn how to think critically and act independently so they are truly prepared for post-secondary success.
Read more at www.masterycharter.org.