2012 program emphasized the abilities of those living with disabilities and ended with students participating in a wheelchair basketball game.
BIRMINGHAM, Mich., March 15, 2012 – Birmingham, Mich.-based The Roeper School (Roeper), a co-educational day school for gifted children, concluded its annual diversity celebration on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at the school’s Middle/Upper School campus. Roeper Interim Head of School Phillip Deely made the announcement.
The diversity day celebration, which is held annually to raise awareness and stress the importance of personal and cultural differences, included a wide array of specially planned activities for students from preschool through high school. This year, activities and guest speakers were primarily selected to focus educating the students on what it is like living to live with a disability. In order to maximize the experience for all students, the diversity day initiatives were held on different days at each Roeper campus.
This year’s Middle/Upper School celebration was held on March 14, 2012 at Roeper’s Birmingham campus, located at 1051 Oakland Avenue in Birmingham, Mich. The Roeper Student Diversity Advisory Committee and the school’s Diversity and Community Project Coordinator Carolyn Lett developed the program’s theme, focus and plan. The activities included presentations by several athletes in wheelchairs and concluded with a wheelchair basketball game, in which many students had the opportunity to experience the circumstances the athletes live with on a daily basis.
The diversity day presentations were led by guest speaker Jerry Sarasin, a Troy, Mich. resident who, at the age of 24, was involved in a hit and run motorcycle accident that left him completely paralyzed from the waist down due to a spinal cord injury. He is one of Michigan’s finest wheelchair athletes, a member of the Michigan Thunderbirds wheelchair basketball team and an inductee of the Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame. Roeper students also heard from athletes with a variety of disabilities as they addressed safety and the importance of protecting yourself and understanding others.
Roeper’s Lower School’s diversity day celebration was held in February and included a Disability Awareness Workshop (DAW) for fourth and fifth grade students. Students actively participated in the hands-on, activity-based workshop, which was designed to help them understand the challenges of daily living for individuals with disabilities; and emphasized the message that people should be respected no matter how they look, act, walk or talk. Students were also educated by a guest speaker living with a head injury, as well as exposed to elements or Irish culture, a multicultural lunch and discussions led by individual teachers.
Founded in 1941, The Roeper School is a uniquely personalized, coeducational school for gifted and talented children in preschool through grade 12 from over 60 communities in southeast Michigan. With campuses in Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Roeper was conceived on founding principles that recognize the power of education, choice and self-expression, and the transformative impact these principles have on young minds. For more information, please visit www.roeper.org.