Maddy Axel and Sophie Reid
On Saturday, November 16th dozens of kids from Unified sports teams all over Seattle gathered at RHS to participate in the Unified Sports Special Olympics. The event began with Roosevelt’s Unity Club sharing how being involved with the club has affected them. Anna Wysen, RHS Junior, encouraged her peers to join Unity Club. “It’s been amazing, every Wednesday it totally brightens my day, I would recommend it to anyone. It’s so open, and it’s a really good opportunity.”
After hearing from many youth involved in Project Unity all over King County, the event broke into three different groups: the first group spoke about special education in in grades K through 12, the second group explained Project Unity’s curriculum, and showed how it can be incorporated into school activities, and the last group discussed student sports in Unity Club.
After screening scenes from the play, “It’s Our School Too”, there was a spirit rally. The community grabbed noise makers and paraded around the Roosevelt campus, getting pumped up for the first unified basketball game of the season.
The game was a huge success, everyone was participating and cheering each other on. Sean Fox, a Roosevelt basketball player and Unity Club member, commented on the game. “It was a lot of fun. It went pretty well considering that had been no practices beforehand.” Roosevelt’s official practices will begin in December and the turnout has been great. Anna Wysen, the coach, predicts at least 20 people will play this year.
The fact that Roosevelt’s Unity Club is expanding to incorporate new sports such as basketball shows the club’s success. Roosevelt’s unified sports program began last year with a few students playing unified soccer. The club has since grown in size and continues to do so. Mr. Ledke, Unity Club’s advisor has big plans for the club. “I want to have a peer mentor program that students can get credit for,” Mr. Ledke said. He believes that creating partnerships within Roosevelt will benefit everybody.
Although Roosevelt’s Unity Club has taken off, it still has room to grow. Other schools such as Ballard have larger programs that include soccer, basketball and cross country teams. Other schools at the Special Olympics summit have been able put together unified dances, plays and participated in the Polar Bear Plunge. Under Mr. Ledke’s supervision Roosevelt’s Unity Club will continue to grow and hopefully be able to put together more events.
If you are a student at Roosevelt and want to be a part of Unity Club, there are meetings every Wednesday during second lunch in room 341. They would love to see new faces and get as many new members as possible.