Lasell Honored for Participation in School-based Diversity Awareness Program


Lasell Honored for Participation in School-based Diversity Awareness Program

June 04, 2010

Earlier this month The City of Newton recognized Lasell College for its participation in a disabilities awareness program in the Newton Public Schools called Understanding Our Differences (UOD).

The event, held at City Hall, honored those volunteers who had helped organize the program and participants, including several speakers who worked directly with school children.

The UOD curriculum combines interactive learning about disabilities with an emphasis on understanding and respect. Students hear directly from people in the community with disabilities and focuses on providing information about disabilities to lessen discomfort and counter divisive attitudes.

Lasell Professor Sharyn Lowenstein, Director of the Center for Community Based Learning, accepted the honor for the college on June 4. Lowenstein has been involved with the program for several years.

According to Lowenstein, in recent years students from her leadership Honors course incorporated a service learning project around the Understanding Our Differences Program. During the project the students learned how to facilitate the program and implemented one of the units in grades 3, 4, and 5 at the Lincoln Eliot Elementary School in Newton.

This past year Lasell's education department became involved in the program. The students now do the work through a special education course at the College in conjunction with a specially designed one-credit course that allows them to spend more time on task with the UOD program.