This spring, three juniors at Newton South High School – Angelina, Sophia, and Adrienne – conducted a project in their history class. They assessed the recent debate over cutting the Understanding Our Differences program from the Newton Public Schools curriculum.
After sending out a survey to our classmates, the students confirmed that those who participated in the UOD program really enjoyed it and learned from it, with 92% of respondents saying they gained something beneficial from the program.
In addition, the students were very successful in raising money for UOD during a bake sale, and they met many people who shared the same passion for the program.
The students said, “Out of all the things we learned in elementary school, Understanding Our Differences provided us with some of the most memorable concepts we have continued to take with us throughout high school. We learned awareness, integration, and respect. Elementary school is such a crucial time to educate kids about disability awareness because if taught at a young age, they will carry this understanding with them as they get older. … All in all, we believe Understanding Our Differences is an amazing program that benefits the well-being of our community and it deserves to be continued in the curriculum.”