Lessons of Acceptance from Hollywood

Within Special Olympics Project UNIFY, we’re constantly looking for ways to engage students (and teachers) in the classroom to become more inclusive and accepting of their peers. One of the best (and most exciting) ways to do this is to show positive examples of inclusion in our favorite movies and television shows.

Enter stage left, ‘Movies that Move’, a new partnership between Project UNIFY and Film Clips for Character Education.

Recently, Amanda Sechrist, an Adapted Physical Education teacher from Pennsylvania had the opportunity to share her experience with Project UNIFY and Movies that Move with a group of Middle School educators at the AMLE Conference. Here’s how she describes the educational film clips:

“Movies that Move are short movie clips that promote critical thinking and allow regular education students and special needs students to discuss inclusion, acceptance, the powers of words and youth leadership while building relationships with each other in the school environment.”

Movies that Move have not only allowed Ms. Sechrist to bring inclusionary practices into her classroom, but also helped her develop new ways to reach struggling general education students. After sharing the Movies that Move film clips with a classroom of at-risk youth, the students were inspired and wanted to pay it forward. They offered to volunteer and help Ms. Sechrist teach swimming lessons to the special education students in their school – an opportunity that has been exceptionally beneficial to all students involved!

So what does Movies that Move look like… Here’s a great clip with the theme ‘Different Abilities’. Sarah, a middle school student from Washington using Movies that Move in her classroom, says: “The wheelchair scene shows a different perspective. You are able to see what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes. It really shows the message and does a good job of explaining it.”

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About Rebecca

Manager of Youth Leadership for Special Olympics Project UNIFY. I hope to share with you lots of great stories about our youth leaders, school programs and other amazing things we're doing here at Special Olympics.

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