Little Feet Meet parachute station.

Special Olympics Little Feet Meet promotes inclusiveness among local students

Little Feet Meet parachute station.Nearly 30 Charlottesville Schools volunteers joined with other local area youth at the 4th annual Little Feet Meet, an annual Special Olympics event in which students with developmental/intellectual disabilities and their general education peers participate together in track and field events and other fun activities.

The Little Feet Meet, is an opportunity for local youth to support and encourage students with disabilities.

Little Feat Meet CHS volunteers.“Our students with disabilities love this event!” said Charlottesville City Schools Special Education Coordinator Karen Wilson. “It is a time to recognize how wonderful they are, and how many skills they do have. In addition, our peer buddies learn to work with and better understand students with disabilities. It is a win, win.”

In partnership with Charlottesville City Schools, Albemarle County Public Schools, and the U.S. Department of Education, 23 Charlottesville High School Key Club members volunteered as peer buddies and also ran various activity stations which included kicking a soccer ball, running a race, playing with a big parachute and navigating an obstacle course.

Student volunteers pose for picture at Little Feet Meet“It is awesome to see how engaged these buddies are,” said Wilson. “For the most part it is a lot of playing and having fun.”

Several students from Walker Upper Elementary also participated in the day’s events. Walker had six student athletes paired with nine buddies who were able to practice the track and field events at school prior to coming to the meet.

Karie Williams, a functional skills teacher at Walker, said the day is not about competition, but comraderie.

“This is all done in the spirit of companionship over competition,” said Williams. “It is a great experience for the athletes as well as the buddies.”