On Friday, May 19th, LHCSD’s Early Learning hosted Special Olympic Young Athlete events. Over 80 preschool and TK students with unique needs and TK general education students from Las Lomas participated in various motor skill stations during this Special Olympics Young Athletes event. Additionally, over 100 Big Buddies from 2nd to 6th Grade helped the athletes at all 6 of these activity stations.
With their support, the preschool athletes got to show off their amazing abilities to parents, family members, friends, staff, community members and the entire school! The energy and excitement was incredible! Wendy Arteaga, the APE teacher, started this event 5 years ago, “as a small little event”, and watched it nurture and grow into an AMAZING school wide-community collaboration.
This event exemplifies the Special Olympics mission by giving our Olympians continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, empowering athletes with opportunities to learn skills that foster the acceptance and inclusion of all people.
The IDEA Club at Las Lomas promoted Disability Awareness Week leading up to the event, hosting different inclusion art activities each day. Students also designed and created beautiful one of a kind merchandise to sell during the event.
Various community leaders and members came to cheer on and support our youngest athletes as the La Habra Police Department handed out stickers, motivating students and putting medals on the athletes at the end of the games. The Gary Center and La Habra Collaborative hosted a Farmer’s Market that included fresh fruits and vegetables, diapers, and household items for the athletes and their families.
Move More Eat Healthy showed their support by encouraging healthy eating habits. Community partners, Raising Canes gave out Lemonade and TONS of swag along with Black Bear Diner who gave out free cookies as well! What a wonderful way for our community to rally and show their love, encouragement, and support!