Basketball fever is running rampant at the Fulton Junior High School, resulting in a widespread outbreak of kindness and compassion.
What caused the fever? A “Move To Include” Basketball Game that was coordinated by the school’s Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club in cooperation with the school’s student council and a local non-profit organization known as Move Along, Inc.
Move Along, Inc. was founded by Greg Callen, a man committed to persevere and regain his passion for life and the activities that always brought him joy following a tragic accident that left him paralyzed from his waist down.
Callen made a special visit to the FJHS earlier this school year where he shared his story and amazing journey that led to the development of Move Along, Inc. FJHS Principal Ryan Lanigan spoke volumes about Callen’s visit to the school and his discussions with students about overcoming barriers and what it really means to be inclusive of others.
Inspired by Callen’s visit and his organization’s mission of supporting individuals with medically documented limitations through adaptive and inclusionary activities, the FOR Club invited Callen and the members of his Move Along Flyers Basketball Team to return to the school for a full-court wheelchair basketball fundraising game against the FJHS faculty.
The teams played two 20-minute halves with the FJHS team using wheelchairs provided through the Move Along organization. Students, parents and community members packed the FJHS gymnasium for the event where the only victory that mattered was that which was not counted on a scoreboard.
“This event is really about building a culture of kindness where everyone feels included and accepted,” Principal Lanigan said.
Callen concurred with Lanigan’s sentiments and spoke to game spectators about the concept of inclusionary and adaptive athletic programs to help children and adults develop and/or regain a passion for something that they enjoy and asked the audience to take one thing away from the game, “Don’t ever give up on you!”
The FJHS FOR Club is an extension of Rachel’s Challenge and provides students with an opportunity to continue on with the message of kindness and compassion.
FOR is in its second year at the Fulton Junior High School and coordinates several activities and events to support its mission to foster a culture of kindness where everyone feels included.
Funds generated from this basketball event will be used by the FOR Club to raise awareness about importance of an inclusionary environment and be utilized for inclusionary and adaptive athletic equipment and activities in the Fulton City School District.