HAMPSTEAD —Hampstead Middle School’s Our World Club was honored by Governor Maggie Hassan and the New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities at the Council’s Holiday Gathering on December 12 at the Holiday Inn in Concord. The club, which is made up of fifth and sixth graders, won third place in the Council’s Count Me In! contest, which asked New Hampshire citizens to make short video public service announcements that challenge negative assumptions about people with disabilities. The top three videos will be used in the Council’s upcoming public awareness campaign about inclusion.
The club created a video about including and becoming friends with kids with autism. The club was created after a student made a racial slur. Its goal is cultural education and tolerance. Students feel that by being a member, they can make the world a better place, and are working to do so through fundraisers and awareness activities for various charities and causes.
The club received a $100.00 prize donated by Living Innovations.
First-place winners Sarah and Eliza Cooley of Concord, and second-place winner Adam Whittier of Sunapee were also recognized at the event. Sarah and Eliza received a $500 prize donated by Parenting New Hampshire magazine. Adam received a $250 prize donated by Living Innovations.
Awards were also presented to legislators who have made an outstanding contribution to improving the quality of life of people with disabilities.
Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster were recognized as Outstanding Legislators based on their active support of the ABLE Act, and the Keeping All Students Safe Act. Bonnie Dunham of Merrimack was awarded the Virginia Bowden Advocacy Award, which is given annually to a person with disabilities or family member for “extraordinary leadership and commitment to the cause of dignity, equal rights and full participation of people with disabilities in NH.”Bonnie was recognized for her tireless efforts to insure special education regulations and laws are strengthened and not weakened.
The New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities is a federally funded state agency that supports public policies and initiatives that remove barriers and promote opportunities in all areas of life. The Council carries out its mission through education, advocacy and the funding of innovative projects that make a difference in people’s lives. Find out more at http://www.nhddc.org.