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South Lyon High School varsity football player Joe Newman Said a new program pairing athletes with special needs students extends well beyond a one-day event.
A program that became extremely popular gives special needs children a chance to play football, get a touchdown and celebrate with football players and cheer squad. However, this is much more than a touchdown says Mark Thomas, South Lyon’s head football coach and special education teacher.
Newman, a wide receiver and quarterback, said “Victory Day 2014 is a chance to make new friends. When we see them in school, we can say ‘hi,’ and they can remember us from the camp”
At this amazing event football players will be matched with special needs children and hopefully participants in both groups will walk away with an experience they will never forget.
“It gives our kids a chance to give back, we want to get away from the idea that it’s all about them. It’s going back to an appreciation of what they have and the opportunities they have. You know our athletic program isn’t just about what happens on the field, but off the field, too. This is an effort to change the culture in our society that it’s not just about me.”
“The children with special needs will get different things from it than the football players, but both are really valuable lesson,” said Cara Daniel, secretary of the South Lyon Association for Special Education, a community group that advocates for children with special needs. Daniel is also the mother of a 3-year-old special needs child.
Victory Day 2014 will be offered to all special needs children who live in the South Lyon Community Schools boundaries and can participate in the experience from 10 a.m. to noon September 20 at the High School, located in South Lyon, MI.
Looking to get involved in similar activities a littler closer to home? The Theresa Foundation fosters each special needs child’s unique abilities through direct support and programs focusing on Art, Music, Dance and Recreation. We believe that every child has strengths that can be used as a spring board to learn new skills which can enhance each child’s personal sense of accomplishment. If you want to learn more or how to get involved, click here.
By Daniel Mayper – Guest Blogger