“Wildcat Games” Bring Smiles to Bolton HS

Students Rally to Plan Field Day for Special Needs Students

BHS_Wildcat Games_GroupBy Lily Donaldson, Special to THE VIEW 38002; Photos courtesy of Cathy Roberts

When Bolton junior Gavin Bishop learned that Bolton High School special education students could not participate in a local Special Olympics event, Bishop took to social media. “Something needs to be done about this situation,” Bishop posted.

Bishop knew how important the field day was for the students in the Special Needs classroom where he had been volunteering since the fall semester.  His experience with special needs individuals at Bolton and Camp Barnabas in Missouri also lead him to start a chapter of the national peer group Best Buddies at the high school.

Sophomore Miranda Swift answered Bishop’s call for action the next day, and together they started creating their own special education field day for Bolton. With help from Bolton teachers Dodie Mize, Jessica Sparks, and Kathy Henke, the “Wildcat Games” were born.

BHS_Wildcat Games_Run_4 BHS_Wildcat Games_Run_3

On Thursday, May 14, Bolton High School held its first annual field day for its special education students. Over fifty student volunteers came together and made eight activity and food stations including face painting, water balloon battles, parachute, egg-in-spoon race, relay races, and a snow cone rest station.

The event received a food sponsorship from Chick-Fil-A Wolfcreek, snack foods from faculty and students, and t-shirts for the volunteer staff from Design Konnections Screen Printing and Embroidery.

At the end of the day, the volunteers cheered as the athletes participated in the final race. Volunteer Cooper Henke said, “I loved getting to see how happy it made the kids and also how amazingly well the [volunteers] participated.” Another volunteer, Cathy Nyguyen added, “I saw so much happiness in their eyes and I was so glad that I got to share it with them. “

BHS_W BHS_Wildcat Games_CooperGavin Bishop’s father added a different perspective.

“I can personally attest to the excitement and joy on the faces of everyone that attended,” Terry Bishop said.

“ We talked with several parents of these special children that expressed how happy their children were and how important this event was to their child. Some even said that it was the best that they had ever attended because they had events that every child could participate in and not just track and field type events.”

Volunteers and teachers agreed the event was a huge success for the school.

“This event just shows that we’re not just students; we’re a family,” said Swift.

Additional reporting for this article by Terry Louderback

 

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