Mott Road Elementary School students cheered on their classmates as they kicked balls through hoops, tossed balls into nets and showed off their baseball skills in the school gymnasium before crossing a finish line and receiving medals as part of the school’s version of the Special Olympics.
The Special Olympics Track & Field Event was scheduled to take place at the Cicero-North Syracuse (C-NS) High School Athletic Complex on May 19, but was rescheduled to May 26 because of rain. Mott Road Principal Jonna Johnson said while the school does have two students who are planning to attend the C-NS event, the school wanted to provide an opportunity for its other special education students who because of their disabilities are unable to attend the off-site games.
So on May 19, 23 students, including those from an OCM BOCES special education classroom housed at Mott Road, took part in the 2022 Mott Road Special Olympics. The school began hosting its own version of the games before the COVID-19 pandemic began and brought it back this year.
Students with disabilities were teamed with two to three of their classmates who do not have disabilities to complete the stations set up around the gym. Other classmates created signs encouraging the athletes and cheered them on as they rotated through the stations. Students’ families also attended the event.
“It’s a unique experience and speaks to the culture of inclusivity in our building,” Johnson said.