This summer I had the privilege of attending the first annual Rise Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This was a conference hosted by the flagship Rise program that is located on, and is affiliated with, The University of Alabama. The conference was organized to allow all Rise programs to collaborate, learn about each other’s programs similarities and differences, and bond over our love for inclusion.
The first day each program did a group presentation that was a basic overview of what their school structure entailed; the second day we were able to do “break out” meetings based on age group which allowed us to dive deeper into planning, curriculum, and the day-to-day structure of our programs.
It was a unique experience to be around like-minded individuals that have seen how inclusion not only works but touches the lives and hearts for everyone involved! It was hard to not feel connected to each of these programs; it was evident that every person at the conference shined for our shared mission! As we learned that there are many differences between our programs, there are also similarities, but the main one that has stuck with me since we left is: every child that attends a Rise School is safe, happy, loved, and learning! What a beautiful thing we all get to be a part of!
Moving forward, the Rise Conference will happen every 3 years - I am excited to see the continued growth of each individual program as well as all Rise Schools collectively. Together we shine!
Teacher Preschool 1