New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

Feature News

Unified Sports Program Thriving at High School

boe

During Monday night’s Board of Education meeting the Unified Sports Capstone Project presented information on its program by students Nicole Tyc and Danielle DeSimone.

“People from unified sports involved are from across the state,” said Tyc “We back each other and see how we can do more.”

Some of the projects being done include Feed My Starving Children, Race in the Park, “R-Word” campaigns at Mohegan Sun, Leadership Conferences and a Youth Activation Council.

Several special needs students, parents and teachers spoke about how important the program is to them.

“Christine is a product on New Britain school system. Regardless of if you’re student special needs or not you want them to have the most normal teenage experience as possible. I think unified is a big part of that,” said Mark Depinto, parent. “Christine is a huge sports fan and goes to her brother and sister’s sporting event and is the loudest one to cheer. Now, she gets to hear those cheers for herself.”

“I really like to play volleyball with my team,” said Mona Moshi. “It is really fun.”

There are tournaments every spring for various sports.

Members of Unified sports are an open-minded community partnering students with and without intellectual disabilities to create a respectful, inclusive and caring school environment.

Members host and participate in scrimmages and half time games. They go to New Britain Bees games and field trips. They also have written grant proposals to gain money for the club which meets twice a month.

“The purpose of this club is bonding,” said DeSimone. “We are able to do that. It means a lot.”

Tyler Aresimowicz said he likes unified sports because he meets new people and his favorite sport is volleyball.

Donovan Dorsey, a senior at the high school, said he knew he wanted to be a part of Unified Sports to be a better person and different than anyone else. He invited a special education student in the class, Melissa, to the prom.

“I highly recommend this class to anyone,” said Dorsey. “One thing I will take for me with life from Unified Sports is leadership. You have to help all the kids. I kept the habit of being a leader. Unified Sports has made me into a great person.”

Brandon Medina, a sophomore at the high school, said this program is the most amazing program he has experienced.

“I cannot imagine what it would be like not being a part of this. It is without a doubt one of my best experiences,” said Medina. “They have a positive vibe. If everyone were part of this, I think the world would be a better place.”

Students can get involved in the program through student/recommendations, paperwork, the half-time campaigns, by word of mouth and advertisements in class.

In the upcoming years the group plans on interacting more with other local unified teams, keeping the afterschool club going and attending a Unified Dance.

Advisors for the program are Mrs. Dichner, Mrs. Twomey and Mrs. Limnios.

Also at the meeting, Joseph Pinchera, principal at New Britain High School, updated the Career Pathways Development program.

Pinchera said the six development rails included high schools that work, engaging schools, schools by design, consultants and improving attendance.

Instead of a Freshmen Academy, Pinchera is looking at New Britain High School a new academy “to better serve the academic and behavioral needs of New Britain High School students by offering an enriched environment”

The Mindset Academy would create additional opportunity for incoming freshmen to thrive academically; create better opportunities for current Juniors who have not passed American Experience and World Literature and/or Algebra 1 and Geometry to earn credit; and make Advanced Placement classes more accessible to non-traditional AP students.