CHELMSFORD, MA – Each year the LionsARK Project, an organization that supports and promotes random acts of kindness in Chelmsford and the surrounding communities, awards a scholarship to a graduating senior based on an essay they write about who in the community they believe is deserving of a random act of kindness. In addition to the winner being awarded a scholarship, they also fulfill the student’s random act of kindness.
Chelmsford Public Schools is pleased to announce the LionsARK Project has chosen Caitlin Keohane, a senior at Chelmsford High School, to receive a $500 Scholarship for her random act of kindness essay submission. In fulfilling Ms. Keohane’s random act of kindness submission, Chelmsford High School Physical Education teacher, Matthew Guarente, has been awarded the random act of kindness award for creating a Unifying Physical Education class which integrates special education students with their peers.
In Ms. Keohane’s essay, she expressed her desire to recognize Mr. Guarente for his full inclusion physical education curriculum saying, “The goal is two-fold. The class breaks down the barriers between regular education students and special education students while improving each athlete’s physical skills.” She further explains, “Everyone learns to work as a team to help each other achieve the goals set forth in each class. It teaches social skills and increases social interactions for the athletes and gives the coaches a better understanding of what it takes for an athlete to complete a task that may seem like nothing to them.”
Ms. Keohane states how she has experienced the strong bonds that are made during the Unified Physical Education class, which extends beyond the hour-long class to the hallways, lunchroom, and even outside of the school setting at sporting events. “It is awesome to see students interacting saying hey, high fiving, or even having their own special signal when greeting each other.”
“Mr. Guarente fosters this community of learning and is an amazing role model and leader for both the coaches and athletes,” says Keohane.
Mr. Guarente was awarded a plaque of the letter and a gift basket full of gift cards. He will use the gift cards to purchase materials and equipment for the Unified Physical Education class at Chelmsford High School that could further enhance the athlete’s physical skills while continuing to build a stronger community of coaches and athletes.
About LionsARK Project
The LionsARK Project was founded in 2014 to facilitate random acts of kindness in the Chelmsford community. The mission is to promote kindness that makes a difference in the lives around us, young, old and anyone in between. Lions ARK aims to facilitate random acts of kindness, creating a stronger community and helping to build a happier society for everyone. The give time, ideas and energy to inspire those around us. It is the hope that the Project will promote the spirit of giving and receiving that reflects the greater good in all.
About Chelmsford Public Schools
The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential. This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students. For more information, please visit www.chelmsford.k12.ma.us.