An event designed to help special needs kids become more active is taking place May 8 at the Tippecanoe Valley High School track.
The community is invited to attend Unified Game Day from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students with and without disabilities will participate in the inaugural event.
Unified Game Day is part of Unified Champion Schools, a 12-week program recently launched by Special Olympics Indiana, with the focus of providing youngsters with different physical activities that lead to improved skills and fitness.
“The ultimate goal is for these students to become physically fit, active and also someday hopefully participate in some type of Indiana High School Athletic Association-sanctioned event,” said school psychologist Jon Ekhoff.
Students ages two to seven will participate in activity stations during Unified Game Day, while students ages eight and up will participate in track and field activities. A closing ceremony and awards program will also be held.
The Unified Champion Schools program is designed to implement a physical education curriculum with activities that promote motor, cognitive, social and emotional skill development as well as inclusion of students with and without disabilities.
“Students learn a lot of the basic skills they may not have developed naturally,” said Ekhoff.
Unified Game Day is one of the last components of the program. The event gives students the time to demonstrate and celebrate the skills they have practiced and learned.
Photo: Eighth graders Dakota and Shawnitta Webb (front row) along with seventh grader Carolyn Roth and eighth grader Cheyenne Barngrover (back row) practice the 50-meter dash for Unified Game Day.