Skill / Age Level: Born in 2007
I have had the privilege to volunteer for the Unified Basketball program that was recently brought into the Elwood School district by our administration during the 2021-2022 school year. Unified Sports promote social inclusion by bringing people together with and without disabilities. Coach Charly Rogener leads the Unified team in addition to being our varsity basketball coach, a Tech teacher and a certified Special Education teacher. Mr. Kilkenny, our school psychologist is the assistant coach. My teammate Paul Febbraro and I didn’t think twice about joining Mr. Rogener and Mr. Kilkenny to help teach and mentor students with disabilities. Through this program, I was able to make connections with students that I typically didn’t get to interact with throughout my day. I was able to build new relationships and even worked with one of the students over the summer in their driveway. We are about to enter our second year of this program and I cannot be more excited to be on the court with everyone again. Our school recently implemented Unified Bowling, in addition to the Unified middle school intramural program, which I had the opportunity to volunteer for. Outside of the Unified program, I also volunteer and help teach basketball to K-2 children at the Harley Avenue Elementary School. I am in the process of working with my school administrators to expand the Unified program K-12. I submitted a proposal for them to review and we are in the process of putting together a plan....More to come! I am fortunate to live in a school district that embraces an inclusive environment which opens up opportunities for all.