The Ridge

Reflections on Swampfest

CeCe+Migliaccio+and+her+buddies
CeCe Migliaccio and her buddies

CeCe Migliaccio and her buddies

CeCe Migliaccio and her buddies

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On Friday, April 13, Ashley Ridge High School (AR) had an annual event called Swampfest. The sunny, 77 degrees day was filled with students from AR laughing, running, and sweating with disabled students from several schools in the district.

Swampfest’s purpose is to give disabled and nondisabled students a chance to come together. Friendships are made; Moments are shared. A senior at AR, CeCe Migliaccio, says that as a student who has an intellectual disability, Swampfest is important to her. “I have fun, I can see my friends, it’s excercise, and there’s different booths,” she says. Migliaccio says her partners were very friendly and she had fun, but she wishes she could have kept the puppies. Migliaccio says, “They were so adorable and I wanted to hug and kiss them.”

AR freshman, Courtney Gordon, was paired with Courtney Pickney, a little girl who has down syndrome. Gordon signed up for Swampfest because she thought it would be “a good opportunity to help out.” Gordon says it was a good way to work with different types of people and make friendships. “It gave disabled kids a chance to feel like everyone else instead of being alienated,” she says.

Kristina White is a teacher for AR’s disabled students. This is her 2nd year helping run Swampfest and she loves it. “It’s a day that brings all students together…It builds friendships and awareness.” White wants all AR students to feel welcomed and united. “Some people are afraid of disabled students, but they shouldn’t be. They are all so sweet and just like us.”

The booths included puppy stations, water guns, face painting, bowling, music, and many more. Both Gordon and Migliaccio said they thought it was a success. Gordon says, “I will definitely sign up for it next year.”

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Reflections on Swampfest