Special Olympics Grows Stronger Together


Jessie Marshall

Senior Katie Marshall helps Sophomore Jacob Brooks enter names into the correct lane for bowling.

Jessie Marshall, Writer

Creating special bonds that will never be broken by celebrating and laughing with each other, helps students thrive in their own unique ways.

Special Olympics provides a safe environment for students all around the school. This allows them to get the opportunity to be themselves and encouragement to be different.

Special Olympics is an organization where students with different abilities can interact with others and truly know what it feels like to be understood and be a part of a team. With student and teacher volunteers, Ozark has been able to create a team that is thriving throughout the years. 

Practices are year-round and go through multiple sports including bocce, bowling, basketball, and track. Throughout these activities, they practice life and interaction skills while enjoying every second of playing the sport they love. Every week, students get together to cheer each other on and better themselves as an athlete and person.

“My favorite part of Special Olympics are the practices where we see the students interact and learn new things. I love to see when something exciting happens and everyone is celebrating with one student! It is super fun,” said Mrs. Erin McElroy, one of the team’s coaches.

Watching students participate in activities that are not usually offered and push through their obstacles, shows how strong these students are, and creates an outstanding environment. Not only does Special Olympics bring joy to everyone involved in it, but it also creates an opportunity for students to learn about sportsmanship and leadership, as well as creating and maintaining relationships. 

“There are numerous benefits for schools to include special olympics for students, athletes, teachers, and administration. We think that providing this for students will improve the participation of all athletes and the overall attitudes and environment of Ozark Schools! Having events that include everyone improves the attitudes of those who see it and it has the power to give students’ self-esteem a perk,” said McElroy.