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San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Inclusivity at SM: Better Together Club

San Marcos offers over thirty different clubs for a variety of different interests and passions, one being Better Together. Better Together is an inclusive club new to San Marcos this year that creates a space for students of all abilities to make friends and get to know each other. The club also advocates for better inclusion in the San Marcos community. With the rise of Covid in years prior, many inclusion programs that were once structured at SM were discontinued and were never reimplemented until now. 

Approximately 16% of the global population has a significant disability of some kind as of 2023 according to the World Health Organization. This is why it is important to take steps to raise awareness and promote acceptance inside of our school and out. The H-Wing located at the top of our school by the gym is primarily reserved for our special needs students.

Better Together Club meeting at lunch (Baylie Bingham)

According to various H-wing teachers, the majority of the students learning in the H-Wing work on a variety of different skills depending on the student. As disability is a spectrum, San Marcos staff operates in a manner where the goal is to best support each student in whatever they need to lead an optimal and fulfilling life. Whether it be social skills, operating independently, or general education, the students are hard at work and deserve the opportunity to bond with their peers and make new friends during lunch. Luckily, we have a club just for that. 

Better Together meets every other Wednesday during lunch to eat lunch, make friends, and sometimes even has activities. In the past there have been crafts, games, and themes to the meetings revolving around the time of year. The meetings are aimed to not have too much structure so that connections can be made more naturally. The meetings simply serve as a way for a more secluded community to have the same chances to make friends that the rest of the student body has.

Better Together meeting in the Cafeteria (Baylie Bingham)

Senior Katie Kracke serves as the club’s current president as well as being the reason for the program being reinstated. 

When asked about whether or not she feels the club has enriched the community, she said “It is definitely a work in progress as this is our first year as a structured club, but I try to remember that any small effort of inclusion adds to the grand scheme of helping all San Marcos students have a better high school experience.” 

So if you see any of these students throughout your day, say hello! Or, you can even do one better and attend the next Better Together club meeting, every other Wednesday!

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About the Contributor
Baylie Bingham, Sports & Social Media Editor
Baylie is a junior at San Marcos High School. This is her third year doing the King's Page, first as a staff writer, then as graphics editor, and now as sports editor as well as social media. She loves to write about politics, the environment, and local events in both San Marcos and Santa Barbara as a whole.
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