At this Oahu school, inclusion means cheering for everyone

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The staff at Ewa Makai Middle School aims to create a campus where everyone can put their differences aside and be friends.

This can be particularly difficult for students with special needs.

But a little work can go a long way, meaning school had its first-ever burstin’ to run on Friday.

Special needs students ran a mile alongside their classmates. Peers are general education students who are paired with children with special needs.

Blake, who is on the autism spectrum, has been patiently waiting for the bubble run. He had to walk alongside his pal Adrialle Sison.

“Ready?” Adrian Blake asked while they waited for the start. “You run two laps!”

As Blake ran his mile, Adrielle cheered him on and encouraged him to keep going.

“You can do it!” he cried.

Blake and Adrielle passed hundreds of students lining the path around the school. Children held up signs and wrote encouraging messages in chalk.

“These beautiful students deserve to feel and be seen as part of the community,” said special education teacher Derek Govin. “We have to do that on our school grounds.”

Adrielle said he’s never seen so many of his fellow students be so inclusive.

“My friends tell me they are not capable,” he said. “But I think they just proved them wrong.”

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