St. Bonaventure University students presented with Special Olympics New York at the 82nd Annual New York State AHPERD Conference (New York State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance), held Nov. 20-22 in Verona, New York.
The presentation, “Live it: Embracing Inclusive Physical Education through a Sport,” was given by Physical Activity Club (PAC) officers Charity Hammond, Jennifer Landow, Brianna Burgess, Jessica Farkas, Elizabeth Burke, PAC adviser Dr. Paula Scraba and Bill Collins, director of sports training for Special Olympics New York.
Special Olympics New York is the largest Special Olympics, Inc. in North America and the sixth largest in the world. All programs are free to participants.
The conference presentation provided strategies to support educators with inclusive school environments aligned to state and national physical education standards with Special Olympics coaches' guides. St. Bonaventure students illustrated how inclusive instructional sport guides build community, improve skills for positive social interaction and create acceptance in physical education and sporting arenas. The Bonaventure students demonstrated how college students in teacher preparation programs and school districts can transform an existing physical education program for students to connect and grow through inclusive assessment guides for physical activities.
For its efforts to advocate for Special Olympics, the Physical Activity Club is a recognized Special Olympics College Club. It functions as an official club on campus and connects college students and individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport to build friendships and help lead the social justice movement of Special Olympics.
Most recently, PAC sponsored a major event with the SBU Polar Crew Team for the Polar Plunge into Lake Erie on Dec. 7 at Orchard Park by members of the men’s and women’s cross country/track team. Upcoming is a Special Olympics unified exhibition basketball game at halftime of the Feb. 6, 2020, women’s basketball game vs. George Washington. And St. Bonaventure will host the Annual Unified Basketball Competition with area school districts in the spring on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Throughout the year, PAC continues to raise funds for Special Olympics programs in the area with the community through its bottle redemption program by partnering with Allegany Beverage and Redemption.
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