Though the skies were gray, smiles shined brightly at a Young Athletes Day, hosted by Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School in San Francisco. More than 30 young athletes and 10 Stevenson student volunteers took part in the event – which was the first of its kind for Stevenson.
Before the sporting events got underway, the entire school was out on the blacktop to see RL Stevenson Elementary receive its Whole-School Involvement banner for being a Gold-Level/Project UNIFY school. Stevenson earned it for its ongoing commitment to unity and respect, as shown by hosting competitions, participating in Unified Sports and taking the Polar Plunge.
“The Schools Partnership Program has most definitely helped improved the campus climate for the students, as it has brought awareness,” special education teacher Brian Friedman said. “By hosting the events, other students get to see that the students [receiving special education] enjoy many of the same activities as they do. It also helps reassure the [students receiving special education] that they are also members of the school community.”
During the banner presentation, even the principal was grinning ear-to-ear and promised to hang the banner where students could see it and appreciate what they earned. As a whole, RL Stevenson is a fun and accepting school and the students are a valued part of our Schools Partnership Program.
And then it was time for sports! We had 30 young athletes participate with 10 student volunteers who are in Mr. Friedman’s class and compete as Special Olympics student-athletes!
“I think the Young Athletes Day had a huge impact on all the students involved and the adults,” Mr. Friedman said. “The young students engaged in fun activities and the older students were able to gain self-confidence in themselves and feel good for helping others all while having fun and playing.”
Young athletes got to explore the world of sports by playing at different stations – tee ball, balance beams, soccer and basketball. The blacktop at RL Stevenson proved to be the perfect setting for the day!
“This event gave all students an opportunity to shine,” Mr. Friedman said.
About Young Athletes Program
A component of the Schools Partnership Program, the Young Athletes Program sees children between the ages of 2 and 7 get an introduction to the world of sports with the goal of preparing them for Special Olympics training and competition when they get older. The program focuses on the basics that are crucial to cognitive development: physical activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination, and the application of these physical skills through sports skills and programs. To see more about Young Athletes Program, please click here.
Thanks to Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary and everyone who helped make the day a success!