Students come together for 'Rockin Rockies 2: Field Day of Champions'
PLYMOUTH, Ind. - For the second year, students with disabilities from 13 local schools gathered at Plymouth High School for "Rockin Rockies II: Field Day of Champions."
Last year, the annual special needs prom was replaced by an outdoor carnival field day because of COVID restrictions. The students loved it so much, staff said, they brought it back this year instead of the prom.
"This is about community, because when you live with a disability, sometimes it’s harder to build a community," said Tammie Radican, special education teacher at Plymouth High School. "How can we create community for them, an opportunity to build friendships, and to just enjoy themselves in an atmosphere that’s conducive for comfort and for security and in a way that makes sense to them?"
"I tried to bring the fun, that’s what I was trying to do," said Steven Hovermale, wellness teacher at Plymouth High School, "because ultimately, we want to champion these kids."
The event included a dunk tank, arcade and carnival games, a 50-meter dash race, tug-of-war, a dance-off, and so much more.
"If we can support more of these students, getting them involved and making them feel championed and that they are worth every bit that we pour into them, that’s going to be a great thing, so it’s a great day here," Hovermale said.
"It’s so important for our schools and our communities to see and hear and understand our students and our young adults and the people in our communities that live with a disability," Radican said. "We all want the same thing in the end, we want friendship, we want to be involved, we want to be a part."
Radican said there were about 100 students volunteering Friday, but roughly 40 of them are daily volunteers in her special needs classroom.
"I just wanted to get the experience. I’ve always grown up knowing that there’s different people in the world, and that we’re all the same, and we just got to love each other," said one of those students, Plymouth senior Trey Hall. "It’s a joy to me, I love seeing them have fun."
"I think when we understand disabilities, we understand better how we can maybe open up more options," Radican said.