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At this Oahu school, being inclusive means cheering everybody on

Ewa Makai Middle School staff want to create a campus where everyone can put aside their differences and be friends.
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 5:57 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 22, 2022 at 6:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ewa Makai Middle School staff want to create a campus where everyone can put aside their differences and be friends.

That can be especially hard for students with special needs.

But a little work can go a long way, which is the school had its first-ever Burstin’ to Run on Friday.

Special education students ran one mile alongside their peer buddies. Peers are general education students that are paired up with kids that have special needs.

Blake, who is on the autism spectrum, has been patiently waiting for the bubble run. He got to run alongside his peer buddy, Adrielle Sison.

“You ready?” Adrielle asked Blake, as they waited for the start. “You’re going to run two laps!”

As Blake ran his mile, Adrielle cheered him and encouraged him to push on.

“You got this!” he yelled.

Blake and Adrielle passed hundreds of students who lined the pathway around the school. Kids held up signs and wrote encouraging messages with chalk.

“These beautiful students deserve to feel and be seen as part of the community,” said special education teacher Derek Govin. “We have to do that on our school grounds.”

Adrielle said he has never seen so many of his fellow students be so inclusive.

“My friends tell me they’re not capable,” he said. “But I think they just proved them wrong.”

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