Century High Students share message of inclusiveness at homecoming pep rally

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 3:07 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Homecoming week is a memorable one for high school students. From the dress up days to the football game, it is a week teens will remember forever.

At Century High School, homecoming this year became special for something else, something we think is good news.

Bennett Ereth is proud to be a Century Patriot.

“I’m a freshman,” Ereth said.

He admits, he had some first day jitters.

“I didn’t know what the upperclassmen would think of me but when I’m at but they welcomed me with open arms,” he recalled.

Among them, senior Parker Ehrman.

“We’ve gotten really close during gym class,” said Ehrman. “I help him but he doesn’t need too much help so we just hang out together for most of it.”

Ehrman is a member of Peer to Peer, a group started eight years ago to build inclusion and acceptance. He is Ereth’s mentor, which means they spend time together, in and out of class.

In the classroom, mentors learn about inclusiveness and about people first language.

While Peer to Peer is nothing new at CHS, what the group did at this year’s homecoming pep rally had never been done before. Members of Peer to Peer – mentors and mentees – and the school choir sang and signed a very special song.

“It was amazing to get to show the school that like people with Down syndrome people with cerebral palsy can still communicate with sign language communicate in amazing ways,” said CHS sophomore and Peer to Peer mentor Rachael Lubale.

“It was just cool to be connected with other people and to do it all together,” added sophomore Amber Olsen.

“It was just kind of a thank you from Peer to Peer to the student body and staff here at Century of thanks for not seeing the differences thanks for just seeing us as people,” said Peer to Peer adviser Sara Bohrer.

A thank you these students won’t soon forget, and a reminder that we’re all more alike than we think.

Peer to Peer started at Century, but has since spread to all Bismarck schools, as well as schools across the state and the nation.

Most recently, Bohrer has been visiting with school leaders in Orange County, Calif., about starting their own Peer to Peer program.

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