Friday, May 07, 2010

Special Olympics

Kelly's class has had a great opportunity. They have spent this last year working with the special day class students in our school during their Adaptive PE classes every Wednesday. This has mostly been as 'buddies', where one or two kids from Kelly's class would match up with one of the kids from the special day class, to act as helpers. This has been such a wonderful experience for her and her friends. I tell you, back when I was a kid, you didn't talk about kids that were 'different' than you were, unless you were whispering behind your hand, and being all awkward. But with this constant exposure, her classmates have developed a naturalness around these kids with huge needs and differences that I (and my peers at that age) would have never dreamed of. Someone drools? You get a tissue and help them wipe it up. Someone staggers and falls down? You help them up. Very matter of fact.

And yesterday, I got to see all these kids in action at the Special Olympics Super Sports Day.

My heart swelled with pride as I watched Kelly with her young charge.

We all love a parade!

And I have to hand it to one of Kelly's classmates. The guy drives me nuts sometimes, but he ran along side his buddy for ALL FOUR LAPS while his buddy ran the mile. This kid ran along on the infield, cheering that guy on, and keeping him on task until his race was done.

I'm so used to seeing these kids as 10 and 11 year olds that can't even remember to brush their teeth or pack their own lunch, and to watch them spend their entire day completely responsible for a kid who really needed them? It was so incredibly heartwarming.

And maybe they're ready to go to Middle School, after all?

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