The ball is coming. All eyes are on you. People are screaming, “You got this!” Your nerves are high. Will you catch the ball or not? For a high schooler, this sounds easy; but for a special needs child, it sounds nearly impossible.
On October 16th, students from Nipher and North Kirkwood Middle Schools who have special needs came together to play football, band, and cheerleading with high schoolers at E.L. Lyons Memorial Stadium.
“My students get very excited before the game. Their smiles are shining,” said Holly Wolf. Wolf teaches some of the students that were at the football game.
People say it can be very difficult getting through day to day having special needs. These students may feel strange and uncomfortable with the children who don’t have special needs. That’s why they love Unified Night Lights so much. They get to be next to people just like them playing in a fair game.
“When I crossed the line it really made me happy. I can’t wait for next year,” said Freddy Townley. He is a seventh grade student who participated in the football portion of the night.
For a student with special needs it may be harder to make friends. That’s why the Kirkwood School District made Unified Night Lights for students with and without disabilities to come together to have fun and try to build long-lasting relationships.
“The philosophy behind the event is that sports help provide a path to friendships and understanding and help break down barriers,” according to the Kirkwood School District.