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One School United!

Champions Together

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“We are all in this together.” Champions together is a school associated club that brings special needs together with the high school students. This allows not only for the special needs to have a fun time but allows them to fulfill the desire to fit in. Their differences don’t matter in the events that everyone comes together. We are all individuals, and I can guarantee that none of us are perfect.

Three years ago Mrs. Eurit had brought up the idea of Champions Together to Mrs. Rush, and then from there it began to progress as Mrs. Brock had Lee Lonzo, the director of Champions Together, introduce information to our school about this club. Mrs. Rush decided to take this club on because she wanted “to see our school come together” or  “see students and special needs become one.” She felt as if she should give more as a teacher, so when she saw the opportunity, she took it. She is proud to see students and special needs now high fiving and getting along. She said, “I see selflessness through all the volunteering and being willing to help.”

Last year was the first year of Lewis Cass being a Champions Together school. As a club, we decided to host a basketball/ cheerleading clinic. In January we had the clinic on a Saturday morning, and then that night they got to perform in between the Lewis Cass JV and Varsity basketball games. This went really well, and everyone had so much fun. In fact, it was so great that we decided to do it again this year. We started meetings to bring this incredible event together. Some of our leaders include Trevor Kessler, Kaleb Lewellen, Josie Woolever, David Woolever, Reece Rodabaugh, Paxtyn Hicks, Isaac Chambers, Hannah Young, and me. We started planning for this event in September but it won’t take place till February.

The clinic and game this year will take place February 9th. The clinic will be in the morning from 10 to 12, and all ages of special needs can come to play basketball or cheer. The basketball clinic will involve basic drills, shooting, and games, and then the cheer involves dancing, basic cheers, and decorating. All the participants will receive a t-shirt and a small gift. Then they will again be invited back to the school that night to perform what they learned at the clinic between games.

Champions Together has been working towards being a banner school. We have to meet expectations with the IHSAA to be considered a “Champions Together school.” As a group, we completed all the standards last year. Now this year, we raised the money to receive our Champions Together banner. This past Friday at the basketball game, our club was recognized as the IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox came to give us our banner.

As we continue to grow and progress as a club, we are wanting to organize even more events. We are trying to put a committee together to host a unified track event. I am excited to see this club grow because behind the scenes it really makes a difference in the special needs lives, but we couldn’t do any of this without the support and care from the heads of the clubs, Denise Rush and Melissa Johnson. They go beyond organizing and supervising because they care for each and everyone one of us. The club is excited for the clinic and game this year and ready for the experience. Karleigh Frame, who is on the cheerleading committee, helped last year. She said, “I got to experience having a relationship with the special needs kids and make a difference in their lives, and I got to make them feel just as special as anyone else.”

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
One School United!