Help Group, Mirman School partner for second annual Special Olympics
March 9 marked not only Mirman's second annual Helping Hands day of service, but the second annual Help Group Special Olympics hosted on the Mirman campus. This year, about 70 athletes were able to enjoy a larger game play area as the Kotzubei Family Athletics Field was full of fun stations for them to experience.
Mirman students, faculty, and staff gathered to receive the athletes and friends with a long welcome tunnel full of high-fives and shouts of support.
Representatives from The Help Group, founded in 1975 and encompassing a group of schools and services for children, adolescents, and adults with special needs related to autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, ADHD, developmental delays, abuse and emotional challenges, noted that the day was a success for the athletes from The Help Group's Early Autism Education Program, who spent the afternoon rotating through different stations manned by volunteers from Mirman's Upper School.
Help Group COO Dr. Susan Berman, former chair of the Mirman Board of Trustees, joined Head of School Dan Vorenberg in greeting the athletes before they dug into the games. "The Help Group and The Special Olympics partnered three years ago with the goal of implementing a specialized sports curriculum in its autism schools," said Berman. "Now in its second year, Mirman School has hosted Help Group students in a culminating event to celebrate the completion of the Special Olympics sports curriculum. This year’s Young Athletes Festival was a great way for Help Group students to showcase all that they’ve learned in the program, and to have the support, and incredibly warm reception from Mirman School students. It’s a win-win day for both schools."
Classmates from the Lower School were also on hand to assist and cheer on the outstanding students participating in the games.
"I'm out here helping because I love helping people," said Mirman student Devyn R (4L), who joined her friend Charlotte R. (4L) to assist on an obstacle course.
"It was an incredibly emotional experience to walk through Mirman's "tunnel of love". Our children and our staff were thrilled to be so warmly embraced by the Mirman community," said Berman, reflecting upon the day. "Under Dan Vorenberg's leadership and vision, Mirman's commitment to nurture a diverse and inclusive campus couldn't have been more clearly and beautifully expressed today. It warmed my heart to see the two schools that are such an integral part of my life come together in such a meaningful way."