Neighborly gestures: West Towson students visit Ridge Ruxton peers

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West Towson Grade 4 students Mia, Sofia, Sabine and Ruhi visited Ridge Ruxton School students and gave them friendship wreaths and bracelets Jan. 4.

TOWSON — During winter break, four West Towson Elementary students selflessly remembered their scholarly neighbors by making wreaths and friendship bracelets.

Talk about a craft project with many benefits.

Mia and Sabine Davis, Sofia Gahagan, and Ruhi Shanbhag, Grade 4 students at West Towson, visited Ridge Ruxton School to deliver colorful bracelets and flower-themed wreaths to students in Alisa Rogers’ classroom.

West Towson and Ridge Ruxton are on the same Charles Street campus. Ridge Ruxton maintains a learning environment in educational, vocational, and community settings for students ages 3-21 with disabilities. The two schools join together for celebrations like World Peace Day, holiday caroling, and assemblies.

“Sharing a campus provides both schools with wonderful opportunities to bring our students together,” West Towson Elementary principal Susan Hershfeld said. “Both schools work together to plan collaborative activities. These events enrich the lives of all involved.”

Thanks to Towson University intern Rachel Love, West Towson students received additional opportunities to get to know students at Ridge Ruxton.

Love was challenged with making a difference in the school community. She focused on ways West Towson and Ridge Ruxton students could build even closer relationships. Rogers and West Towson Elementary teacher Susan Kerrigan collaborated to ensure the interactions could happen.

West Towson students had the opportunity to visit Rogers’ class about once a month. They would read stories, assist with crafts, and lead computer activities, willingly giving up recess time in order to make the collaborations happen.

Mia was a regular. She visited the class whenever she could.

When West Towson students were asked to consider extracurricular kindness projects to help those in the community, Mia knew that she wanted to provide gifts for Ridge Ruxton students. Mia, her twin sister Sabine, and her friends got their wish. They worked on the project during winter break and were able to distribute their gifts during the first week in January.

The smiling Ridge Ruxton students had an opportunity to pick their favorite bracelet color. The bracelets will serve as a constant reminder of their friends next door at West Towson.

“It touched my heart to see this happen, and I am so grateful to [Rogers] for her help throughout this project,” Kerrigan said.

What a wonderful example of what is possible when Team BCPS works together. A Towson University intern came up with a plan. It was supported by the administrations at both schools. Teachers made it happen. Students were selfless with their time and benefited from shared experiences. To see a full gallery of the Ridge Ruxton visit, click here.

We chose to share this story this week in the spirit of Team BCPS Day. Remember to wear blue Thursday, Jan. 12. It is a simple, and fun way to show your pride and support of Baltimore County Public Schools. When we work together, it’s amazing what can be accomplished.

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