Having bowling teams pair students with and without disabilities is a great way to bring students together.

Bowling Teams Pair Students With and Without DisabilitiesBrandi Benson has discovered that bringing students together and encouraging them to try new things is a great way to show them how to meet new people. She is a journalism teacher, a fan of Lincoln Southwest High School, and a driving force behind the tunnel walk for Lincoln Southwest’s Special Olympics basketball team, which won a state championship.

Bowling is also an activity she enjoys.

Special Education Coordinator Christy Champoux decided to bring in Benson for coaching Lincoln Public Schools unified bowling teams. “Brandi is a coach in a different way,” she said, because she helps kids move forward no matter where they start, builds communication skills and brings students together.

“She may not be a traditional coach, but she is a coach.”

Now her team is one of the first Nebraska School Activities Association-sanctioned unified bowling teams.

Unified sports are a division of Special Olympics, which pair students with and without disabilities as one team that competes together.  Over 4,3000 middle and high schools across the USA have unified sports.

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