Mississippi Association of Partners in Education #PartnershipPower
2011 Partnership Excellence Award Thames Elementary
School and The Association for the Rights of Citizens with Disabilities (The
Arc of Forrest County)
Thames Elementary and The Arc formed a partnership to create
an inclusive leisure and recreation activity to reward children with and
without disabilities. In 2010 The Arc built a recreational facility for
individuals with disabilities in the community of Hattiesburg and surrounding
Thames Elementary contacted The Arc to form a partnership
reward system for positive behavior support and academic achievement throughout
the 2010-11 school year. Originally the school was to reward students who
scored advanced or proficient on the statewide testing, MCT2 and MAAECF for the
2009-10 school year. The scores were received during the summer session, and
the students were rewarded in September 2010 with a field trip to The Arc
multipurpose building for a day of movies, recreation and leisure. The building
is a handicap-accessible building that can facilitate numerous activities. The
children were inclusively involved in movie time, game centers and team games.
Twenty-five community members volunteered their time to set up, to participate
in organizing centers and to clean up for the three days the facility was used
to reward the Thames Elementary students. The Arc donated popcorn and drinks
during the movie and Thames Elementary provided lunch.
The reward system was so successful that when the United Way
Campaign was underway, the school advertised a day at the multipurpose building
as a reward for the three classes that donated the most funds to the
fundraiser. The building was again accessed to provide two days of fun to
children with and without disabilities.
In addition, the facility is used for training individuals
with disabilities in community-based settings at Thames. Obviously a unique
relationship has been created for children with and without disabilities
through inclusive leisure and recreation activities.
Duration of partnership: 1 year 25 volunteers Impacts 255 students
rewarded for MCT2 and MAAECF scores with field trip to The Arc multi-purpose
and recreational building for movie time, game centers and team games.
Community volunteers helped organize centers and clean-up during three-day
event, which culminated in a picnic on the grounds. Students also rewarded with
visit to the center for United Way fundraising activities. Teachers use
facility for community-based training for students with disabilities.
Results: Total of
17 community-based trips made to The Arc by students with disabilities.
Expanded services to individuals with disabilities, encouraged community
recreation, increased community involvement and awareness, increased
participation and acceptance of children with and without disabilities in an