Wheelchair Basketball Inclusion Event Offers Collins Middle School Students Unique Experience in Disability Sport

Posted on: November 2, 2023
Wheelchair Basketball Inclusion Event at Collins Middle School

SALEM (Nov. 2, 2023) – When the final bell sounded for Collins Middle School students Wednesday afternoon, it was a day in which a handful of them will not soon forget.

Students were treated to a first-hand experience of playing sports with a disability as members of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) played a brief exhibition, fielded questions from curious students, and took part in an exposition game with students and staff.

“We call it a comeandSEE immersion event,” said Jennifer Packard, Occupational Therapist and Coordinator for Spaulding Rehabilitation Adaptive Sports Centers, who helped coordinate the event. “After the kids ask questions, we put everyone in a wheelchair, take them through some skills and drills, and have them play a game.”

Joining Ms. Packard in bringing the event to Collins Middle School was Michelle Flewelling, a Physical Therapy Assistant and Orientation/Mobility Specialist for Salem Public Schools who also works part-time at the Spaulding Outpatient Center for Children in Salem

Representing the New England Blazers was player/coach Paul Cowan, Chris Johnson and Jerome Simon while Joe LeMar was on hand from the Rollin’ Celtics

“This was perfect because we had members of the NWBA,” said Ms. Flewelling.

About Salem Public Schools

Salem Public Schools is an urban public school district in Salem, Massachusetts. Salem is a small, diverse city with a proud maritime and immigrant history. Our leaders and our teachers are all passionate about education and understand the urgency of improving student achievement with equity and social-emotional needs as the lens we view all of our work through. We respect and value the racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity of our students and their families, and have a strong commitment to the Salem community. Salem Public Schools staff serve all of our students, regardless of ability or language. Salem Public Schools enrolls approximately 4,000 students across its eleven schools.