Inclusion Week


Many of the metro area schools are taking part in the Spread the Word Inclusion Week, including Westside High School. During the designated inclusion week students and staff take part in a spirit week where they follow a different theme each day.

Speech Language Pathologist Katherine Healey helped plan much of Inclusion Week. Healey said that people with disabilities have been excluded for a long time, and inclusion week is to change that. 

“People with disabilities have historically been excluded from many activities in their schools and communities,” Healey said. “The mission of The Spread the Word Inclusion is to stop the cycle of isolation and exclusion that often exists for people who have disabilities.” 

Healey said that Inclusion Week is meant to encourage students to get to know and interact with those that may be different from them. Students can interact with those who are different from them by joining activities that go on at Westside High School.

“During this year’s Inclusion Week we are really encouraging students to get to know students who may appear different from them!” Healey said. “One great way to do this is to join a unified activity. There are many of these opportunities here at WHS, including WeSide Unified, Unified Bowling, Unified Track, First Chapter Book Club, Sparkles and the Peer Model Program.”

Junior Isabella Wesch, who has been a part of the Peer Model Program for about 2 years, said that she likes the idea of peer modeling because it has to do with making sure no one is left out.

“What peer modeling means to me is basically just having fun and making sure the kids have fun and are included in everything… it’s just more fun when we’re all together,” Wesch said.

Wesch said that she enjoys spending time with the students because they are so interested in your life and she’s glad she’s been able to make best friends through peer modeling. 

“They remember the littlest things about you, like your favorite color or what movie you watched 3 years ago on Christmas,” Wesch said. “It’s just nice to know that someone’s listening.”