Spreading the Word

Special Olympics, Ending the R-word, Getting Involved

Unified Winter Ball

After three years of running the MetroWest Special Olympics at FSU we obviously want to make every year bigger and better than the last. One of the girls on my team mentioned hosting a prom with the Special Olympics athletes.

I took her idea and I made a few adjustments to make it a Unified Winter Ball because prom season is too close to the end of the year and we want to promote Special Olympics which takes place at the end if April.

Through Special Olympics I have realized that there are so many people at this school who really care about about the Special Olympics athletes and are just so amazing with them every single year. So I thought, why wait until the end of April to have fun with such amazing people?

So, my plan for next semester is to host a unified Winter Ball at  FSU with high schools in the MetroWest area and their Special Education classes. We would set it up so that everyone would meet and get together somehow and the boys in the Special Education classes would go to the Ball with girls from FSU and the girls in the Special Education Classes will go with the boys at FSU.

I think this would get a lot of attention and I think the students at FSU will be more than willing to take part in it. This event will not only be a one-time dance, it’s sure to build friendships that will last for years.

That being said, I am looking for ideas, tips and feedback on this event idea. For anyone who reads this – please comment below or email me at cristinaarrene@gmail.com with any advice. I really want this program to be successful so any insight will be greatly appreciated!

SPREAD THE WORD!

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Interview with a volunteer

You all know by now that I love Special Olympics and all that it stands for. But what you don’t know is that this passion runs in the family. My sister, Elyse, is a senior at Malden High School and has been involved in the Malden Special Olympics since her freshman year and also is heavily involved in Unified Sports.

Unified Sports is a great program at Malden High School. It takes place 3 to 4 times a week depending on the day’s class rotation schedule. During a certain class period, the Special Education classes (PACE Program) go down to the gym and have an hour or so of recreational activities. There are student volunteers from across the school who give up their studies or free periods to essentially take gym class with the PACE Program.

They have warm-ups lead by the captain of the football team. They have races and play games such as kickball, wiffleball, soccer and basketball.

All of the volunteers have a blast and as Elyse mentioned – they build so many friendships.

Unified Sports is a truly amazing program because it makes students with disabilities feel like they are no different from any of the other varsity athletes in the school.

I sat down with Elyse to talk about her experience with Unified Sports. Listen to our conversation below.

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Special Olympics, Ending the R-word, Getting Involved

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