By Anna Poudel
Special needs students from all the schools in the Lee’s Summit R-7 district meet to play sports together year-round. Until the end of October, the group goes bowling together every Tuesday at Summit Lanes. Other students sometimes go to earn A+ hours, community service hours, or to hang out with family members.
Senior Zach Porter started helping the group last spring when his sister Kelsey, an eighth-grader, joined.
“I’m already done with my community service hours, but I just am here,” said Porter.
He said he’s continued helping the group because he enjoys working with kids who have special needs. He and other students who volunteer have the same job.
“I basically make sure that the kids are on track and that they’re doing what they need to be doing and I teach them the correct way to do things, like their tennis swings,” said Porter.
The bowling alley almost always contains sounds of pins falling, students interacting, and helpers laughing alongside them. For Freshman Anna Jensen, joining the group last spring was a form of entertainment and a way to meet new people.
She said, “It’s fun and so nice, and I have friends here so I feel more comfortable in this group.”
Anyone interested in volunteering for or joining the group can contact the district’s Special Olympics Coordinator, Dawn Jones. Her contact information can be found in room 2048.