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