Cumberland School Volunteers raise awareness of disabilities with Just Friends program

Cumberland School Volunteers raise awareness of disabilities with Just Friends program

CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland School Volunteers recently wrapped up their annual offering of the Just Friends, More Alike than Different Disability Awareness Program in 4th-grade classrooms across Cumberland.

New this year, the program included guest speakers, including individuals with disabilities who visited the schools and shared their personal stories and experiences. The speakers included Mary Abby, Mike Murray, Stacy DeCosta and William Potter, all telling students that while their disabilities are part of them, they do not define them.

The inclusion of guest speakers offered the students an opportunity to gain a real-world connection with the information presented during the four Just Friends program sessions.

“It is so important for children to learn about differences that they may observe in their peers or members of their community. It is with this knowledge they develop an understanding and acceptance of others and are able to look beyond the disability and see a person just like them,” said Kristen Sukatos, director of the Cumberland School Volunteers.

The Just Friends program has been offered to 4th-grade students in Cumberland for more than 25 years. For more, contact Sukatos at kristen.sukatos@cumberlandschools.org or 401-658-1600, ext. 374.