FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA – An inclusive choir class is bringing special education students together through a universal language.

  • Choir brings together general and special education students
  • Bonding together through universal language
  • First class of its kind at Los Amigos High School

Franson is a senior at Los Amigos High School in Fountain Valley, and he begins every choir class the same way, by leading the stretches.

Warming up is an important part of singing, and singing is one Franson’s favorite things to do.

“I sing every day,” Franson said.

“He just brings the energy anywhere he goes,” said his teacher Anabel Pauline.

Known for his smile, Franson is also quick to help with a high five or some good advice.

“Franson has these eyes of just equal opportunity,” said his teacher Ashley Bremmen.

Music fills the air in choir class, but looking around the room, it is obvious that this choir is about much more than perfect pitch. Franson is one of 10 Special Education students in this 28-student class. It is a full-inclusion class, which means that general and special education students learn together.

“I just see a lot more ownership in the students in the choir, of the work that they’re doing and just more of them seeing themselves as a family and taking care of each other,” Pauline said.

The A cappella class is in its second year and is the first of its kind for the Garden Grove Unified School District. The is proving that music is a universal language and it is a gift that anyone can have.

“The General Education students struggle just as much as the special education students, so we struggle together, we grow together, and there’s just a lot of love and acceptance,” said Bremmen.

A December pep rally was the perfect example of the effect this one class is having on the entire school. Franson performed the solo, but he was far from alone.

“It’s so happy and so proud to get a cheer up and make some noise from the gymnasium,” said Franson.

“The students themselves see more of how they are similar than how they are different,” said Pauline.

Franson will be graduating in June, but his voice will be heard long after he leaves by succeeding in something very few can do; by bringing people together.

“When you have a sad day you can always count on Franson to bring a smile to your face,” said his friend Kelly who is a high school junior.