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South View students dance for Special Olympics Minnesota

SVMS Peer Insights/Aspire group Nov. 29, 2018 – South View Middle School (SVMS) students supported Special Olympics Minnesota by participating in the Unified Dance Marathon on Nov. 17. The SVMS Peer Insights/Aspire group danced for two hours and finished third among fundraising teams exceeding their goal of $5,000 and raising $7,048.

The event took place at the Mall of America Rotunda and participants were required to fundraise a minimum of $50 in order to join. The Peer Insights/Aspire team has been participating in the event since 2015 and has seen interest and excitement increase over the years.

Peer Insights is a program at South View that allows students in the center-based special education program to work with other students in an advisory setting, allowing them to collaborate and gain mutual respect for the strengths they each bring to South View. The group joined forces with Special Olympics and their Unified Program five years ago and eventually was named a Champion School in 2015-16.

Jennie Schaefer, special education teacher at SVMS, believes the United Dance Marathon is a great fundraising opportunity for the students. “It allows ours students to share their stories and participate in an amazing event outside of school,” said Schaefer.

The Unified Dance Marathon is an inclusive dance party that brings together people with and without intellectual disabilities to develop meaningful relationships. “It is an amazing event because it includes everyone of all abilities, and everyone feels welcomed and can be themselves,” said Schaefer.