‘Unified Field Day’ provides inclusive activities for students with disabilities
PEMBINE, Wis. (WLUC) - Students from three northern Wisconsin area schools spent the day in the sun while teaming up with the Special Olympics.
They held a “Unified Field Day” for those with disabilities on Tuesday.
Cornhole, blindfolded bowling, and face painting were a few accessible activities during the field day at Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine Schools.
“Today is all about getting schools together, making connections between kids, and making it accessible for all. We have a small community and small neighboring communities. It is really nice to have an opportunity for all kids to get out and participate,” said Jenna Erno, a special education teacher from Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine.
Erno was in an accident three years ago that put her in a wheelchair. As the district’s special education teacher, she advocates for inclusive behavior for all student disabilities.
“Some of our volunteers have shirts and on the back, it says ‘#AllmeansALL’,” Erno said.
Kindergarten through high school students from Niagara, Florence, and Goodman Schools joined Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine students for the field day. Student volunteers helped organize and facilitate the activities.
“I think you can really get along with anyone. It is nice to spend time with everyone because some kids don’t get to have the chance to interact with other people,” said Lily Zapp, Pembine High School junior.
Zapp and more than a dozen middle school and high school students helped Erno put on the field day. Another group that participated is Kinect, a Green Bay-based organization that uses innovation to address accessible problem-solving.
“We brought an action track chair. It is an adaptive wheelchair. It is meant for people to be able to go outside and go hiking with their friends and family if they have a mobility challenge,” said Adam Peronto, Kinect executive project director.
Peronto said the tank-like tracks allow the chair to traverse terrain like beaches, grass, or hiking trails that a standard wheelchair can’t. Erno said the event was a heartwarming success and she is already looking to find ways to expand the accessible field day next year.
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