Every year the James Logan Track & Field team hosts the Special Olympics as a way to give back to the community and show support and diversity in all forms of athletics.
The Mission Valley SELPA and Special Olympics Northern California first partnered in the 2013-14 school year as part of a pilot program. After an extremely exciting inaugural school year in the program, Mission Valley SELPA advanced to a full-fledged member of the Schools Partnership Program, beginning in fall 2014. Contained within the Mission Valley SELPA, schools from Fremont, Newark and New Haven school districts participate in the Schools Partnership Program. Currently these three school districts are Gold-Level Schools and will continue their involvement in bringing awareness to the needs of these amazing athletes.
What Does It Mean to Be a Gold-Level School?
It means that you’ve worked with Special Olympics Northern California to complete three activations to make your school more unified. Examples of activations are:
- Students could serve as volunteers, fans in the stands, peer partners or coaches at a Special Olympics Schools Partnership Program sports competition
- Student leaders can plan a Spread the Word to End the Word campaign at their school in a variety of ways to raise consciousness about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard,” including taking the pledge to stop saying the r-word
- Work to make sure all school clubs are inclusive and welcoming to all or create their own club
- Join the fun in our annual Polar Plunge through the Cool School Challenge
What Is Whole-School Involvement?
Whole-school involvement brings special education students and their non-disabled peers together. Without this engagement, the two groups might not have much positive interaction but involving all students at schools creates climates of inclusion, acceptance, respect and human dignity for all students – with and without intellectual disabilities. Across the United States, there are more than 600,000 (over 3,600 in Northern California and Nevada alone) students involved in over 1,700 schools.
Each one of our X-Country and Track & Field athletes participate in this fun-filled track meet. The scholar-athletes volunteer an entire two days to coordinating and fully running the track meet where there are over 500 Special Olympians competing. It brings joy to our hearts to be a part of this wonderful program and look forward to the meet each and every year.
Why don’t you come out and volunteer too?