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Baldwin High School PEC Students Shine in Unified Team Sports Tournament

Baldwin High School's Program for Exceptional Children (PEC) students recently made waves at the Unified Team Sports tournament in Putnam County, showcasing the power of inclusion and teamwork. Lead Special Education Teacher Pamela Tindal, who played a pivotal role in initiating this exciting endeavor, shared her insights on this groundbreaking journey. "We built a team sports class with Coach Ben Smith, (BHS new basketball coach) and Coach Dexter Ricks, (BHS Athletics Director) that consisted of both students with disabilities, and students without disabilities, and they've been in class together since August," said Tindal.

Unified tournaments like these are part of the Special Olympics' Unified Team Sports program. The goal is to foster relationships and unity within the school community, transcending barriers and promoting inclusion. This marked Baldwin High School's debut in this remarkable initiative. Baldwin District PEC Director Christy Goforth said that she hopes this will lay the groundwork for future collaborative programs throughout the District.

The preparation for such events involves considerable effort. This class included both students with disabilities and those without, who trained together since the start of the school year. Their hard work culminated in the kickball tournament, with many more tournaments lined up for the school year.

The benefits are already visible. PEC students feel more included and connected to their school community. They interact with peers beyond their usual circles and learn valuable social skills. These tournaments also provide an educational opportunity, helping students understand and adapt to diverse perspectives and behaviors.

Pam Tyndall and her team have ambitious plans for the future, aiming to expand the Unified Team Sports program to other schools in Baldwin County. Beyond sports, they envision unified classrooms and other academic initiatives to further strengthen bonds between students. This exciting journey is just the beginning, and it's a testament to the power of unity and inclusion in education.

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