March 1 was Spread the Word Day, and all across Florida, students committed themselves to creating communities of inclusion – communities where all people are treated with the respect and compassion that everyone deserves. 

They signed the inclusion pledge, handed out inclusion bracelets, made banners and posters, and enjoyed snacks and drinks whipped up by ESE classmates. There were lots of photos and even a little dancing. School administrators emphasized the importance of inclusion in their morning announcements, and teachers worked inclusion principles into their lesson plans.   

This is the fourth year of the Spread the Word Inclusion campaign, which grew out of the Spread the Word to End the Word initiative. This year’s focus was on encouraging students to take personal responsibility – and action – for fostering environments where people with intellectual disabilities are welcomed, included and respected.