Put your Schools Partnership Program knowledge to the test! See if you think any of the following statements are myth or truth!
1. The Schools Partnership Program is just PE for special education students, and the students don’t actually learn anything
Myth! The SPP is all about educating and preparing for life through sports – so there’s lots of learning to be had! We’ve got lots of suggestions for teachers on how to integrate their classroom curriculum into the sports practices and competitions, and vice versa. For example, student-athletes can practice their writing with an essay on what it means to them to compete in the sports events. Student-athletes can practice their ’rithmetic by counting by twos to keep score in a basketball game.
2. Teachers don’t have to put in work on the weekends
Fact! The Schools Partnership Program is encompassed completely within in the school day – including competitions!
3. Students age out of Special Olympics when they graduate high school
Myth! Our Schools Partnership Program is open to special education students of all abilities between the ages of 5 and 22. Student-athletes can concurrently participate in their local Special Olympics general program (which takes place at night and on weekends). At age eight, any child with intellectual disabilities can join the Special Olympics general program. Or, when the student-athletes graduate high school at age 18 or 22, they can transition to the Special Olympics general program.
4. With all the testing and lesson plans teachers have to cram into the school day, there’s no time for the SPP to fit into the school day
Myth! The Schools Partnership Program can take up as little as 15 minutes a day. Not only does the time spent practicing count as physical education, but teachers have also reported their students are more focused when good behavior merits heading outside to practice!
5. Parents and siblings of the special education students don’t get anything out of the School Partnership Program
Myth! Parents and siblings love cheering on their student-athletes at competitions. For many families, this is the first time their child or sibling with intellectual disabilities has competed in a sport so it’s also the first time the families have been out acting as cheerleaders. In fact, at Bay Area Games, one younger brother said he wanted to bring his big sister’s medal to his classroom’s show and tell because he was so proud of her.
6. It does not cost the schools lots of money to run this program
Fact! Special Olympics Northern California provides a grant to the public school district or county to offset the cost of the program. The Schools Partnership Program is completely free to all participants. Equipment, training guides and curriculum — we provide it all!
7. Since the SPP takes place in school, the students don’t have any fun
Myth! It’s fun for everyone! Just check out the smiles on the faces at Bay Area Games in this post and this post! Many of the student-athletes say things like this after competitions – “This is the best day of my life!” For many of the student-athletes, this is the first time they’ve gotten to play sports. Do you remember the first time you played sports and how fun it is?
How did you do? Stayed tuned for part two!