March 31, 2012 (La Mesa) -- Students from Helix Charter High School’s Special Education Department are going for the gold, and students and staff alike hope to raise awareness in the process.
The second annual Helix Charter High School Games of Champions will be held on Tuesday, April 3 from 9:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. at the Benton Hart Stadium football field.
Fifteen to 20 students with severe intellectual and physical disabilities will take the field and participate in activities such as bowling, basketball, soccer goal challenge, agility course, and a long-ball challenge.
“Our goal is to encourage students, staff and community members to have a conversation about the use of the word ‘retarded’ and pledge their support to build awareness and end the use of the ‘r-word’ in our community,” explained Kim Fleming, Special Educator and staff supervisor of the Games. “Most people- teenaged students in particular- don't think of this word as hate speech, but that's exactly what it feels like to millions of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families, and friends.”
Members of many of Helix’s student groups will participate as volunteers assisting with the games. Associated Student Body (ASB) students will participate as spirit leaders during the event, members of the Helix Cheer Squad will be on the field cheering participants on to victory, and the Helix Dance Team will perform at the Closing Ceremonies. “The general education students on campus have been so helpful, friendly and supportive of our program,” said Fleming. “We have been collaborating since the beginning of the school year to create an event that showcases the abilities of our students, promotes inclusion on campus and raises awareness.”