By Jonathan Lance, Communications Specialist, Contra Costa County Office of Education
On Thursday, October 26, 459 student athletes hit the football field at Liberty High School for the annual Special Olympics Schools Partnership Program Soccer Events. The student athletes’ ages ranged from kindergarten to transition students (ages 18-22), with 271 males and 188 females.
Throughout the busy morning and early afternoon, the student athletes took part in soccer skills drills or tournament play, or both. The day was filled with plenty of determination, encouragement, and celebration in achievement – plus a lot of smiles.
Sherri Roberti, Contra Costa County Office of Education’s (CCCOE) Special Olympics Schools Partnership Program coordinator and special education teacher, said, “We would like to thank Liberty High School’s teacher, Summer Rodriguez, who always does a fabulous job of helping to organize her Leadership Students, who serve as event volunteers.” Roberti continues, “Summer and her students worked tirelessly throughout the entire day. She and Liberty High School graciously hosts two events per year, [soccer and track] and do a wonderful job with both!”
The event’s East County participating special education classes came from the following schools: Krey, Los Medanos, and Turner elementary schools; Hillview, Martin Luther King, Edna Hill, O’Hara Park, Park, and Rancho Medanos middle schools; Antioch, Deer Valley, Freedom, Heritage, Liberty, and Pittsburg high schools; and Deer Valley, Gateway Program, Heritage, and Liberty transition schools.
The Special Olympics Northern California Schools Partnership Program is a unique education program in K-12 schools. It unifies students with and without disabilities through sports and whole-school involvement activities that provide them with the knowledge, experience, and skills necessary to create and sustain school communities that promote inclusion, acceptance, and respect for all students.