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Special Olympics partner applications are due soon

The+2017-2018+team+practices+for+the+Special+Olympics.+
The 2017-2018 team practices for the Special Olympics.

The 2017-2018 team practices for the Special Olympics.

The 2017-2018 team practices for the Special Olympics.

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Students who are looking to enhance their resumes and possibly improve their outlook on life should look into applying to serve as a Special Olympics partner for the 18-19 school year. Applications are due Oct. 1. Training starts in January, and the event will take place in May.

“For me, Special Olympics not only promotes social inclusion, but it can be life changing to both the special needs student and the peer partner,” Monica Pryor said. “When students volunteer their time for something like this, they find out just because the athletes have special needs they are just like them and want some of the same things they want.”

Sophomore, Brooklyn Noah, participated in the Special Olympics last year and plans on being a partner again.

“My favorite part about being a partner is getting to see all of our hard work pay off at Special Olympics,” Sophomore Brooklyn Noah said. “I love the Special Olympics because I enjoy engaging with special needs kids and watching them succeed.”

Christina Gould recently took over as the head coach. She is a gym teacher at Leisure Park and Aspen Creek, and she also participated in Special Olympics when she was in high school.

“Students who sign up as peer partners are forever changed,” Gould said. “When I was in high school I was approached about being a partner with our group of special needs students.  Not only did I make lifelong friendship, but I learned so much about tolerance and patience. These qualities are vital to me as an adult in my profession and I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve in High School.”

There are many events throughout the year that help raise money for the team. Freezin for a Reason is a popular event that’s held in February where participants raise donations for jumping into a pool. The Chili Cook-off will be held on Feb. 8th, and at this event, people make chili and compete to see whose is the best.

“The special needs students have strengths and weaknesses just like everyone else,” Pryor said. “Sometimes students do activities like this because it makes them feel like they can help these students learn. In the end, they find out that the athletes teach them as much or more than they teach athletes.”

To apply as a partner, students do not have to be in peer tutoring, but they need to fill out an application and have three teachers sign off as references. The application also includes a 300-word essay. Students can pick up an application in Ms. Pryor’s room, which is D154.

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Special Olympics partner applications are due soon