Mr. Bennett G. Townley
The 2019 CVU Cool Schools Penguin Plunge in Burlington, VT made another huge impact on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019, for Special Olympics of Vermont. There were over 176 participants, according to a school poster that was located in the hallway.
The Cool Schools are schools with Unified Sports Programs, which allow uniquely abled and intellectually disabled students to play school sports such as basketball, bocce, and bowling. The Unified Sports Team has a coach like any other sports team, but the biggest difference is that there are typically non-disabled students, known as partners, to help individually coach students when they need extra help.
Rahn Fleming, CVU Learning Center Director, stated, “The Penguin Plunge is important to CVU because it is a chance and an opportunity for us to live our message of inclusion and singleness of purpose.” Fleming also stated that the first year CVU only had a small crew, which comprised between fifty and a hundred participants in 2013. Peter Booth, a math and Nexus teacher at CVU said that the first Penguin Plunge in 1995 had only ten people and that has increased significantly, growing to over 2,000 plungers in Vermont.
Booth, an avid Plunger and parent of a child with a disability, stated, “The PP [Penguin Plunge] is so important to CVU because (a) it raises so much money for Special Olympics Vermont and (b) it supports people in our community with disabilities.”