South Holds Special Olympics Assembly
On Wednesday March 20, the Special Olympics assembly was held in honor of South’s contribution to the Polar Plunge of 2019. This event, conducted in a fun manner, was created with the purpose to display awareness about the Special Olympic class through various activities. Some of these activities included the intermixing of Special Olympic students and mentors in the unified basketball game as well as the powerful respect poem expressed by Kudzai Kapurura ‘19.
Kapurura was asked to perform the poem by life skills teacher Brennan Young, who initiated the unified program at South.
“Something I was telling Brennan Young after was that it was really cool to be a part of something that big, and I didn’t really realize how big it was until after I was done,” Kapurura said. “The whole concept of a unified assembly, incorporating everybody in the school whatever kind of person that person may be, and that we’re the first school to do that, it made me realize how much farther we still need to go, but at the same time it really made me realize how progressive South is.”
The unified sports program at South, started by Brennan Young, had not always been an active institution at South. It was only until recently that students and other volunteers helped make it possible for South to become more involved with raising awareness.
The Special Olympic basketball game consisting of approximately 20 minutes, was an activity where students of the ELD class were able to enjoy the glory of playing in front of the entire school. In this, providing an opportunity for connection displayed in the welcoming environment.
“I think we’re surprised sometimes to see how much farther we still need to go, like while a lot of people may shout progression from the rooftops that doesn’t necessarily mean that that travels down to the day to day structure of things so I think that having a leader in this instance, Brennan Young stepping out and saying ‘this is what I want to fight for and this is what I want to do’ that’s when things get going but I still applaud South for their willingness for this kind of progression to take place,” Kapurura said.
In addition to the being recognized as a high school that has greatly impacted the community, South received a banner recognizing the school as a Unified Champion School from Special Olympics of Oregon. This title was presented to South by Jean Hansen, Vice President of Youth Outreach, and by Brit Oase, CEO of Special Olympics of Oregon.
Overall the assembly showed not only support from among the student body for the cause, but the school’s efforts to include diversity within the community.