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Fostering Acceptance Between Students with Differences

Laurence School's sixth graders welcome visitors from The Lowman Special Education Center for a morning of fun, games and getting to know one another.

Sixth graders enjoy lots of special previledges at Laurence School in Valley Glen. But the one the independent elementary's graduating class treasures most every year is its visit with students from nearby Charles Leroy Lowman Special Education Center.  

Friday 11 Lowman students visited Laurence, as they do annually, for a morning of sports, music and snacks with Laurence sixth graders.

Though many Lowman students are in wheelchairs and communicate only through an electronic “yes” and “no” board, or not at all, the kids' connection was apparent and mutually joyful.

The two schools, located just a few miles apart in the San Fernando Valley, first teamed up more than 20 years ago to foster comfort and understanding between students who have disabilities and those who do not. 

As usual, the visit culminated with Laurence students pushing Lowman students across the sports court in an all-out wheel chair race.  The event uniquely embodies each school’s mission.  Laurence’s character-building program seeks to instill its students with “compassion and inclusiveness of others,” says Lauren Wolke, head of school.

At Lowman, a key goal is to provide opportunities that help our students find acceptance in the real world. Lowman Special Education Center, part of LUSD is 61 years old and serves 278 students with a wide range of physical and cognitive challenges.  It is located in North Hollywood.  The Laurence School turns 60 years old this year and serves 300 students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

The Laurence School was founded by Marvin and Lynn Jacobson of Encino. Read a profile of them here:

Team Dawg February 20, 2013 at 11:33 PM
A great story and a great group of students. We at Team Dawg have always stressed the importance of mutual respect and the power to make a difference in the lives of others , which exists in us all. wether or not you use that power defines who we are. The definition of all involved in this wonderful program is Heroes....Everyday Heroes! Team Dawg salutes you all!

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