Special athletes compete in BP
It was an exciting day for 150 special education kids on Friday, May 10 at the Blooming Prairie High School track.
These students in grades K-6 were the star attractions on this special Zumbro Education District (ZED) Activity Day. It was the 29th annual ZED Activity Day.
Mostly sunny skies provided a perfect backdrop to celebrate ZED Activity Day 2019.
Seven schools were represented on this busy day of many kinds of activity. Blooming Prairie was the host school. Other schools sending representatives to this special day were: Triton, Hayfield, Stewartville, Byron, Pine Island and Kasson-Mantorville.
There was lots of pomp and circumstance on this special day. The Blooming Prairie High School played peppy tunes, the local American Legion supplied a color guard and all BP Elementary students were released for a few hours in the morning to cheer on the heroes of the day, the special education students.
"It was a wonderful day to see the kids participate in all kinds of activities," remarked Chris Staloch, principal at the Blooming Prairie High School.
Many Blooming Prairie High School students also volunteered to help with the activities.
The day had a Dr. Seuss theme and the Cat in the Hat, aka as Ali Mach, assistant BP high school principal, made rounds on the track.
Most of the activities centered around leg races. Wheel chair bound students also got into the competition.
The joy of winning was shared by all students. "Everybody is a winner here," Staloch said.
This special activity day brings everyone together and makes everyone feel good about themselves," commented Patrick Gordon, executive director of ZED. "It's really rewarding to see these kids and staff, smile, laugh and feel good about life," Gordon said.
Gordon, in his second year as ZED director, said these activities allow kids to interact and to sample victory.
A group of volunteers steadily put up ribbons allowing participants to experience victory. The reverberation from the bleachers made it seem like a scene at a Friday night football game.
Gordon said planning began long ago. "We have it down to a science," he said proudly.
Watching the participants cross the finish line, Lynna Reese, ZED special education assistant, said, "This is the best day and the kids are so exuberant and awesome."
"The Awesome Blossoms always come through," Reese said.
Riauna Bishop, star pitcher for the Blooming Prairie High School softball team, was even playing catch with ZED participant Seth Pack of Hayfield. "He was a good catcher," Bishop beamed.
First grader Joanna Kenney of Stewartville was asked what her favorite part of the day was. "The tattoos," she answered.
Following the day's activities, the kids enjoyed lunch on the track infield and participated in an awards ceremony.
It was then time to board the bus and head home after a busy day at the track.