Students support each other

Guest blog by Erica Sawyer

High School Math Teacher
Robbinsville High School, NC

Our school has a student organization called Friends of the Athletes, where students partner with Special Olympics athletes. It is one of the largest organizations in school. Students complete an application and interview in August. If accepted, they work diligently on service projects and fundraisers to prepare for Special Olympics events in spring.

At the beginning of this year, we held Black Knight Pride Day. Students watched videos showing the end of the past year activities. Then we had an ice cream party.  One of the videos showed last year’s Special Olympics.

Prior to watching the video, Friends of the Athletes performed a skit to illustrate the importance of their organization. They modeled what it looks like for young people to accept and support each other. It required imagination and courage for these students to stand up for a cause and to act out examples.

Following the skit, students watched a video from last year’s NC Special Olympics. It was also produced by students. While watching the video, I glanced around the auditorium to see the students’ expressions and reactions.  All were watching intently.

Afterwards, while socializing at the ice cream celebration, several students approached the Special Olympics athletes and congratulated them on doing well in their events.

Since Black Knight Pride Day, I have noticed more generosity among students. One example is our wrestling team, which includes a student with autism. After his first match, the entire gym gave him a standing ovation. For days following the match, students congratulated him on what a good job he did because our students support each other.


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