Indianapolis Public Schools hosts its first Special Olympics for elementary and middle school students this week to offer further extracurricular opportunities for students with varying abilities.
The three-day event includes students from more than 15 IPS schools and is being held May 29- June 1 at Arsenal Technical High School. Students will compete in Unified track and field events for the first year’s Olympics to unite students of all abilities.
“Unified Sports through Special Olympics are a wonderful way to do just what the name implies: unify students with disabilities and their peers through fun competition,” says Brent Freeman, IPS special education officer.
Most of the students competing in the Olympic games have never before participated in such an event. Fifth grade student volunteer Jalea James says the competition will bring her friends together and provide students with the opportunity to break out if their shells.
“I like being able to be with people, to help them and seeing people happy. I know that, with this, lots of people are happy that they get their chance to shine and show us that they’re more than their disability,” James says.
IPS plans to institute these games as an annual event.