A Thursday evening spent on Campo di Bocce’s courts will make a lasting impact in Santa Clara County schools thanks to a Bocce Bash held in Los Gatos! Proceeds from the fundraising event will help bring Special Olympics to Silicon Valley schools as part of Special Olympics Northern California’s Schools Partnership Program.
Special Olympics Northern California expanded its Schools Partnership Program to Santa Clara County for the first time ever during the 2014-15 school year with 150 students playing Unified Sports or serving as volunteers and fans. But there is still a long way to go – Santa Clara County has more than 276,00 students. Thanks to the generous donations made at Bocce Bash, more students will have the life-changing power of Special Olympics in their classroom.
“We recently launched the Schools Partnership Program in three Santa Clara County elementary schools and it was a great success,” Special Olympics Northern California Vice President Cathy Domanski-DeVries said. “Our Program has proven to be life changing for students of all abilities, their teachers and parents. This Bocce Bash is essential to expanding Special Olympics in more peninsula and South Bay schools. Plus, it was a fun night playing bocce!”
This winter, students at Santa Clara’s Rocketship Education participated in Unified basketball, where 90 students with and without intellectual disabilities competed on the same team together. More than 60 students volunteered and cheered the student-athletes on at the competition.
In order to enact long-lasting change, the schools also engaged more than 200 students in ability awareness activities and poster-marking for the competition. Special Olympics is currently working with the College of Adaptive Arts and the City of San Jose Therapeutic Recreation Department that will include Unified Recreation on upcoming Schools Partnership Program events. We can’t wait to see where Santa Clara County takes Special Olympics next!
To see more photos on our Flickr from the Silicon Valley Bocce Bash, click here! You can download any of our photos for free!