Throughout the month of March, we’re celebrating the Spread the Word >> Inclusion campaign across the state. While we invite everyone in Wisconsin (and beyond) to Spread the Word for Inclusion with our Pledge for Inclusion, some of our most committed supporters who participate in this campaign every year are Wisconsin’s youth. This year, some students from Milton Middle School’s Unified Champion School program gave us some of their thoughts on the importance of inclusion. Some responses have been lightly edited for clarity.
What does inclusion mean to you?
“Inclusion to me means that no matter who you are, you are accepted by people. Deep down, people want to be able to do things just like everybody else.” – Tyler J.
“Inclusion means bringing everyone in.” – Emma P.
Why do you think middle and high school students are so important to the inclusion movement?
“It doesn’t matter the age of the people we are including, just the fact that we include. Middle and high school students are showing others that we are an inclusive school district. We don’t give up and we always strive for the happiness of all students.” – Poppy R.
“We are the future. It’s as simple as that. We should include people because others may not know how or how to do so in our lifetime. We need to do it ourselves.” – Tyler J.
What are the students of Milton Middle School doing to promote inclusion?
“I hold doors for people. During lunch I like to say hello and have a conversation with whoever I sit next to.” – Jaedinn
“We have weekly Unity team meetings. I like to say hello or good morning to everyone you see.” – Paul
“We are making posters to promote inclusion to the student body. We are also encouraging students to sign the Choose to Include pledge and win cool prizes!” – Poppy R.
What advice do you have for others who want to promote inclusion but don’t know where to start?
“My advice to anybody who wants to promote inclusion but doesn’t know where to start is, show kindness to someone. It doesn’t matter if they’re your neighbor, your friend, your family, or a stranger at the grocery store, just help them out or show them a little bit of kindness. Who knows, you might just make their day a little brighter.” – Delilah M.
“My advice would be that it’s never too late. The best day to start is today. You can make a new friend, show someone you care, or say hello to a person at your work, school, etc., that you don’t usually talk to. All you need is a positive mindset and a thirst for human involvement.” – Poppy R.