12 Nov 2007

No wonder Louisa Graham is excited. The 17-year-old Jenison High School junior recently snagged a couple of tickets to December's sold-out Hannah Montana concert at Van Andel Arena, and now she has a leading role in her school's fall play.

Graham, who has Down syndrome, is one of about a dozen special-education students joining regular-education students in the cast of "The Jellybean Conspiracy Show," a play designed to recognize the gifts of young people, including those with developmental disabilities.

"It's a dream come true for her to be in this play," said Louisa's mother, Margie Graham. "She loves to sing and dance and act things out."

"The special education department does a talent show every year, but we've never done anything on this scale," said drama teacher Todd Avery. "(The special education students) look forward to rehearsals. They get a strong sense that they belong, they've got friends."

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What a great article and great idea!