LCPS holds Lenoir County Special Olympics at KHS
Lenoir County Public Schools held its annual Special Olympics Wednesday at Kinston High School, with numerous games and events for those in attendance. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
Lenoir County Public Schools held its annual Special Olympics event Wednesday at Kinston High School with the turnout at its highest.
Julie Hill, the LCPS Exceptional Children Director, said the organization teamed up with the Kinston-Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Department to ensure a strong event, filled with every public school in the county. Besides the competition, there were numerous games, a photo booth, DJ, free food and other attractions.
“This is our fifth year working with Parks and Rec on this event and I’m excited to say this was our biggest one yet,” Hill said. “We had about 500 athletes, 620 volunteers and plenty of parents here for this.”
Among the volunteers was North Lenoir junior Jordan Brown, who volunteered as part of his sports and entertainment marketing class.
“It was great to come out here and see the kids out here having a good time,” Brown said. “Sometimes they can get looked over, but this event really allowed them to get a spotlight and put smiles on their faces.”
Ashley Heath, Brown’s teacher, said there were several responsibilities the students took to help make the event a hit.
“This was the third year this class has done this, and the students had to learn about the organization prior to the event,” Heath said. “Then, they came out to help set things up, organize and participate by playing with the kids.”
Northeast Elementary fifth grader Jarik Williams said he had a good time with a few of the events.
“Some of it was fun,” Williams said. “My favorite part was the 50-meter dash and I got second place.”
Dontarius Morgan, who is also a fifth-grader at Northeast, said he enjoyed himself as well.
“I like to run and my favorite event was the softball throw,” Morgan said.
Kinston’s Shamichael Wilson said he appreciated the event as a way to help the confidence of some of the EC students.
“It’s important to celebrate the kids as well,” Wilson said. “Some of them don’t really want others to know they have these classes and feel down about it, so we have to come together and help them feel better.”
LCPS Superintendent Brent Williams said he loved the turnout to celebrate the youth.
“We’re very appreciative of the support shown by the community, businesses and local officials to come out and make this a special event for so many children,” Williams said. “Hopefully we can keep it going and making this even better.”
Among the officials showing support was Kinston Mayor Don Hardy, who thanked LCPS, Parks and Rec and the volunteers.
“The community really came together as one to cheer on the students, and I know it meant a great deal to them,” Hardy said. “LCPS and Parks and Rec put together a wonderful event and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves throughout the day.”