Uniquely Unified

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Uniquely Unified

Mackenzie Price, Staff Writer

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Walking into the life skills unified bowling banquet, the positive atmosphere is instantly apparent. Students are laughing and eating pizza together while waiting for the banquet to begin.

  Many of the volunteers in the life skills program have siblings or are related to students.

  Mia Munson (9) said, “I know all the aids, teachers, and students but one, in particular, is my brother Scott.”

  As the students converse with their friends, it’s clear the life skills program is a family. All the members are very supportive of everyone and every individual looked happy.

  Mr. Wortinger, life skills coach and teacher, talked about his time working with his students: “I have been at Heritage for ten years, but working directly with Life Skills students for the past five years as Unified Sports (Soccer, Bowling, Basketball, Track & Field) Coach and teacher.” Wortinger is very dedicated to helping, teaching, and working with these students

  Munson discussed her experience working with the life skills students: “My favorite thing about working with the life skills kids is making them feel included in something and seeing the smiles on their faces when we show up or when they do something amazing.”

  Once the pizza had been distributed and everyone had found a seat, Mr. Wortinger, handed out everyone’s certificates for their accomplishments in unified bowling.

  “The Unified partners and athletes love receiving Athletic Awards.  Carlos Lugo received his varsity letter and wore it proudly,” said Wortinger, “For some of our athletes, the pizza party is their favorite part of the season.”

  Overall the experience for both the students and workers and volunteers is a great opportunity and gave them the opportunity to make new special memories.