Young Athletes Program Pairing PreK with Programs for Children with Disabilities

Shannon YAP

The Special Olympics Young Athletes Program™ is a unique sport and play program for children with intellectual disabilities. The focus is on fun activities that are important to mental and physical growth.

Children ages 2-7 enjoy games and activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination, while pairing with a developing peer partner.

The confidence boost makes it easier for them to play and talk with other children on the playground and elsewhere. Leigh Judd, a teacher at Shannon Elementary, does a great job pairing PreK students with their peer partner, with some assistance from a group of 6th graders.

The older students are probably learning as much from the younger students in this mentor role. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

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