On March 4th, about sixty students came together to focus on empathy, pride, innovation, and collaboration, with the goal of bringing back new ideas to share with the entire student body at each of the four schools, as we've done in the past.
The day focused on developing a deeper sense of empathy and understanding for those who are differently abled, and to realize that we are each differently abled in our own ways. The opening keynote address was from Westmoreland seventh grader Jason Robinson, who inspired students to think about the world from an "I can" lens. The Sitrin STARS wheelchair basketball team offered students the opportunity to learn about their sport, and to give it a try for themselves. Later in the day, students met with the Transformers from the ARC who shared their stories of learning, overcoming obstacles, and reaching new levels success. The overarching message to students was to think about the similarities that exist between two individuals rather than the differences, because we are each much more alike than we may think.
In addition, students spent a large portion of the day collaborating with one another to develop a vision for innovative and creative design using bubble wrap (yes, bubble wrap)! Students worked with their peers from other schools to accomplish this goal and it's clear that we have some fashion-forward thinkers within our four school districts.
We look forward to learning how the EPIC Leadership Team will recreate a similar event for everyone at Westmoreland Middle School in the near future.