IGNITE Spring 2019 - Page 18

“IT’S BECOMING A SIGNIFICANT PART OF BOTH COMMUNITIES. IT’S UNIFYING OUR SCHOOLS AND WE BOTH WANT THAT TO CONTINUE.” For schools looking to start their own Unified Bocce Ball team, Gould believes, “It could work at any high school that has a population comprised of students with qualifying special education needs and their general ed peers.” For institutions that aren’t as fortunate to have a special education school located within their campus, Gould recommends expanding inclusive programming as a starting point. “As administrators explore more inclusion in our high school programs, then more teams can be developed. That’s the key.” Since their first match against Souderton Area High School, the Carroll/St. Katherine team has played four more competitions including the Montgomery County Regional Championships—which they won! 18 Although other competitions still lie ahead, the schools already feel like winners. “There has been so much positive feedback from the players on the team, the parents who have been involved, and the faculty who come to games,” recalls Coach Scanlan. “It’s honestly been a really rewarding experience for me and everyone involved—the players, the parents, the coaches, the fans, everybody.” Based on the mounting interest, Archbishop Carroll is already planning on expanding the program to include two teams next year. “I’m surprised and delighted that people are already asking about next year and planning to join,” says Scanlan. “It’s becoming a significant part of both communities. It’s unifying our schools and we both want that to continue.”