KALISPELL – Principal Brent Benkelman of Hedges Elementary School was supposed to do the Polar Plunge on February 2 in honor of the Montana Special Olympics. When Benkelman had a conflict and couldn’t do the plunge, he came up with another idea.
Benkelman raised over $600 for the Montana Special Olympics by auctioning off pieces of duct tape to his students to duct tape him to the wall. He tells us a single piece of tape was $1 and $5 for three pieces of tape.
Hedges Elementary School takes part in the Basic & Life Skills, a district-wide program that tailors learning to those children with special needs.
Benkelman told us how this program has helped build the inclusivity and community at the school.
“We have that program here, so our kids are used to seeing those students and helping them out in the hallways and the lunch room, you know, incorporating them into games on the playground.”
“Our students and staff have been very receptive and helpful with meeting those needs of those kids as well.”
While Benkelman will be donating to the Special Olympics this year, several of the teachers at Hedges Elementary School will be taking part in the Polar Plunge at Whitefish Lake on February 2.
Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News