Fun and games come with an important lesson about acceptance - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Fun and games come with an important lesson about acceptance

Students and teachers hope to make it an annual event. (Photo source: WLOX) Students and teachers hope to make it an annual event. (Photo source: WLOX)
With guidance from their able-bodied comrades, five special education students took part in several activities. (Photo source: WLOX) With guidance from their able-bodied comrades, five special education students took part in several activities. (Photo source: WLOX)
DELISLE, MS (WLOX) -

The lesson plan wasn't about reading and writing Friday at Delisle Elementary School. It was about fun and games.

The first order of business was the singing of the national anthem. Then, the mini Olympics for five special needs children began. Dozens of fifth grade students helped their less-abled friends navigate the playing field.

The games include kickball, Frisbee tossing, hockey, and basketball. Even this reporter got involved, but admittedly, I need some practice.

For the fifth graders, this was a lesson that will stick with them for years to come. One of them is Alaysia Dedeaux. 

“I had a lot of fun, because we get to see how they feel, and it was like we were in their shoes,” Alaysia explained.

One of the special Olympians was so excited, he just had to give mom a hug.  This event is something that can't be taught out of a textbook for student Evan Anderson. 

“I've learned that don't judge people by the way they look or anything, because everybody is just the same,” Evan said.

For the teachers, that was the whole point of hosting the games, according to Jennifer Ramond. 

“Learning the differences in people and learning how to accept and work the differences. We've seen no much growth in both sets of students. My fifth grade students have grown so much through this,” Ramond said.

For the parents of these special Olympians, watching their children be involved, having fun, and interact with the other children in the fifth grade meant the world to them. Gina Gruzdis is one of the parents. 

“It's great to see him have a wonderful time at Delisle Elementary. It's a wonderful school, and we're very appreciative of the teachers that work so hard to help him learn and grow,” Gruzdis exclaimed.

You can't hold an Olympics without medals, and on this day, everyone was a winner.

The idea for the mini special Olympics came up after the fifth graders studied the recent Rio Olympics. The students and teachers hope to make this an annual event.

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