This year at Loyola High School, students took part in a program called Project Unify. Project Unify is a program aimed at including all students in non-exclusionary events. It is a statewide program that is part of Special Olympics Michigan. The organization serves 20,679 children and adults with intellectual disabilities in Michigan.
The students and staff at Loyola celebrated Project Unify by having a week of respect from April 11-15. Students participated in seminars, marches and a carnival.
On the first day of the Week of Respect, students participated a Rally for Respect Everyone and a one-mile march in the city of Detroit as a Walk Against Bullying & Violence. Students made signs and created chants designed to tell drivers about the cause.
“I think what we are doing is really cool,” sophomore Leslie Porter said. “It feels good to raise awareness of Project Unify.”
The march was supported by many people in the area. The students received high fives, handshakes and honks of approval from passing cars.
On Tuesday during the Week of Respect, students participated in Respect Animals Day, which took action against animal cruelty. The following day, the University of Detroit presented anti-bullying activities for Respect One Another Day. Thursday was Respect Military Day.
On the last day of the Week of Respect, a carnival was held in the school gym for Respect Differences Day. Games like ring toss, cake walk, football toss, and many more were played.
Local schools that are affiliated with Project Unify brought their special needs students to Loyola to enjoy the carnival. All of the students were able to participate and win prizes.
“It felt very good to see the happy faces of kids when they won a game,” freshman Lester Hunt said. “I felt it was good to see that they could win no matter what.”