By Aria Jochnau

On April 13, Pin Oak held its first annual Special Olympics here at Pin Oak. Students from the Special Education Department had a chance to show off their athletic skills and compete. Tickets were sold for two dollars each and proceeds went to the PALS Program. Events were set up on the tennis courts and soccer field. These events included the ring toss, javelin (using a noodle), egg race, basketball, and an obstacle course. The students received a medal at the end of the Special Olympics to award them for their outstanding athletic performance and participation. Pin Oak’s cheerleading team helped motivate the students in the events. Teachers and other students also watched and supported them. The Special Olympics was a great way for the students and teachers to come together and interact.

Everyone seemed to have a great time at the Special Olympics. Participant Angela Ayala commented, “It was fun.” Another special athlete, Theo Streatfeild said proudly, “I was in the Special Olympics!” Not only did the Special Education students enjoy this function, but the other students did, too. Jack Whitehead from 7C said, “It was great getting to watch the other students complete. It was a special day for amazing people.”

However, this day could not have taken place without the help of many people. Seventh grade students Adele Beebe, Bonnie Robbins, Avery Stuart, and Zainab Zaman stepped up and did much of the planning for this event. They had constructed a plan for about six weeks and then presented it to Mrs. Graves for approval. After she approved the plan, they had only two days to make sure everything and everyone was set up and ready. Students from the National Junior Honor Society and other volunteers helped set up and support the students as they competed. Teachers and coaches such as Mr. Wilson and Coach Fredricks as well as the PALS club also contributed.

Without a doubt, the Special Olympics was a huge success. The amazing volunteers helped make the Special Olympics a fun and exciting day for everyone at Pin Oak. Student planner Adele Beebe commented, “After all the work, I am so pleased with how the Special Olympics turned out. It was an amazing experience for all the Pin Oak PALS students, and I can’t wait until next year!”