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• Together We Make a Difference •
I Am Norm
Together We Make a Difference
“Civilization is the process in which one gradually increases the number of people included in the term ‘we’ or ‘us’ and at the same time decreases those labeled ‘you’ or ‘them’ until that category has no one left in it.” ~Howard Winters
Together We Make a Difference brings together students with and without disabilities to make a positive difference in their communities. The program was developed by a partnership of the National Inclusion Project and the Institute on Community Integration, a federally-designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities located at the University of Minnesota. (2010)
Why Inclusive Service Learning?
Inclusive Service Learning:
- Brings together peers with and without disabilities in collaborative, inclusive classroom and community settings.
- Incorporates service into existing classroom curricula and standards.
- Provides skill development for students, staff, and the community leading to increased acceptance and valuing of individuals with disabilities and a greater appreciation of their contributions to society.
- Enhances community building, teamwork, leadership, communication, problem solving, and advocacy skills for ALL participants.
- Meets a real community need while at the same time making learning “real” for participants.
- Creates future leaders!
What People are Saying:
“The learning was incredible!” ~3rd Grade Teacher, Clover Ridge Elementary School
“I learned that we can all make a difference.” ~5th Grader, Benjamin Mayes Magnet School
“I learned that if you start small, it can amount to something VERY big.” ~8th Grader, Chaska Middle School
“Week after week I heard amazing stories that showed me that children were really understanding inclusion. I hope we are creating the next generation of adults who understand the importance of inclusion.” – Camp Director, Hollywood, Maryland
Together We Make a Difference: An Inclusive Service Learning Curriculum for Elementary Learners With and Without Disabilities
by Terri Vandercook and Jo Montie
An innovative curriculum providing educators and youth program staff with a new tool for engaging all elementary-age learners in service learning. Its research-based activities guide instructors in helping children with and without disabilities become partners in planning and carrying out service learning projects, while teaching social and life skills to children of all abilities, meeting education standards in a variety of academic areas, and challenging stereotypes about young people with disabilities. The 360-page, 3-ring binder includes an overview of quality service learning, detailed lesson plans, strategies for including all learners in the service learning project (including adaptation and accommodation ideas, and guidance in aligning lessons with IEP goals and objectives), and master copies of handouts. In addition, national standards in English, social studies, and 21st century skills are infused into the curriculum. The lessons are designed to be implemented at least once a week over a 6- to 8-week period, and cover the following topics:
Lesson 1: Getting to Know Everybody, Getting to Know Service Learning
Lesson 2: Increasing Awareness of Our Abilities, Commonalities, and Diversity
Lesson 3: How I Make a Difference
Lesson 4: Learning About Our Community and Picking a Service Learning Project
Lesson 5: Developing Our Plan
Lesson 6: Starting Our Project and Pausing Along the Way
Lesson 7: Reviewing, Sharing, and Celebrating
The curriculum package costs $59 and also includes the storybook Our Friend Mikayla and access to online resources to supplement the manual.
To order Together We Make a Difference, click here.
To learn more about Together We Make a Difference, contact Kristy Barnes or Aron Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.