The Northampton Arts Council is an organization whose goal is to support and promote the arts in Northampton. Originally created as a Local Arts Lottery Council, it began its work by administering a grants program in which proceeds from a state lottery are distributed to local artists, arts groups, and public schools.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Unified Special Olympics School Day Games at NHS



WHAT:  Unified Special Olympics School Day Games
WHERE: Northampton High School 80 Elm St, Northampton, MA
WHEN: June 11 from 9:30am-12:30pm

The Northampton Public Schools will be hosting the local area's first Unified Special Olympics School Day Games on June 11 from 9:30am-12:30pm at Northampton High School. Students from eight local districts will participate in accessible and modified events including throwing, jumping, yard games, relay races, and an obstacle course. 

This is a milestone year for Special Olympics as they are celebrating their 50th anniversary, and they are excited about the partnerships that have been built in the first 50 years and are looking forward to the new growth and opportunity in years to come. While NPS has hosted the School Day Games in the past, this is the first year when the events will be unified, having students with disabilities participating on teams alongside their peers without disabilities. The goal is for students to participate in sports together as peers and equals. 

Over 25 students from Northampton High School are volunteering to run the stations, and over 200 students will be participating as athletes. Students have been part of the planning process to help ensure events are accessible to those with physical disabilities. For example, the wood shop department of NHS is providing a catapult for students who cannot throw a ball that will allow them to press a switch to launch a ball across the field. The Unified School Day Games is an exciting entry into the field of Unified sports for NPS, as other schools in the area have added Unified Sports teams, and NHS will be starting a Unified Basketball team this coming fall. The School Day Games will include an opening ceremony with the National Anthem performed by an NHS student, and the Northampton Arts Council and faculty from NHS are teaming up to provide music (chosen by student participants) to be played throughout the event.

 NPS is proud to be hosting the event and grateful for partnering with Special Olympics. Special Olympics MA is a year-round organization offering inclusive sports and training opportunities in 23 sports across the state. To get involved in your local community visit www.specialolympicsma.org for more information.

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