A recent G.W. Graham graduate is continuing her quest for inclusion.
Megan Owens is a youth inclusion advocate for Special Olympics, and March 3 is Spread the Word Inclusion Global Day of Activation 2021.
The description is a mouthful for sure, but the concept of inclusion is something the 18-year-old is passionate about.
“The theme this year is connection, because the pandemic has caused a lot of isolation for everybody, but especially for people with physical or intellectual disabilities,” Owens said. “That’s something everybody can relate to right now, and I think connection was a very good word to base this year’s campaign around.”
Two years ago, Owens helped create Inclusion Revolution Sports, and visited elementary schools to talk about inclusion in a sport-like setting. This year she took it a step further, crafting a lesson plan that Chilliwack teachers can use in the classroom.
The lesson plan includes an interactive colouring worksheet made by local artist Neve Quadling.
In a letter to teachers encouraging them to integrate the worksheet in their curriculum, Owens said it will “allow students to actively think about what inclusion means and how they can be inclusive in the classroom and the community.”
The worksheet challenges participants to complete ‘inclusive tasks,’ like complimenting someone, teaching someone something new or holding the door open for someone.
|Page one of a two-page worksheet designed for older kids, to be used in Chilliwack classrooms. (Inclusive Revolution Sports)|
Students can sign their name and in doing so pledge to accept people of all abilities, respect and treat others with kindness and be inclusive in their classroom and community.
“Inclusion is important for everyone to be valued and to feel like they have a sense of belonging,” she said. “Being unique and diverse is actually quite powerful.”
Owens was a star with the back-to-back provincial AA finalist G.W. Graham senior girls basketball team. During her senior year at GWG (2019-20), the teenager launched a ‘Unified Basketball’ program, an offering that got students with intellectual disabilities into the gym. They paired up with students without intellectual disabilities, creating a welcoming and fun environment.
“What gets me fired up about inclusion is it’s something I can do to have a positive impact on my community, and it’s really not that difficult,” Owens said. “It’s being respectful and kind and going about your day-to-day life in a way that everybody should.
“It’s easy to do and creates a massive impact, and it’s something I’d like everybody to be just as fired up about as I am.”
For more information on Inclusion Revolution Sports and to download Owens’ lesson plan in PDF format, visit linktr.ee/Inclusionrevolutionsports
Owens also has Inclusion Revolution Sports on Instagram