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Best Schools
November 5, 2014
3rd Annual Lufkin ISD Turkey Trot for Students with Disabilities

 
Lufkin, Tx -- The 3rd annual Lufkin ISD Turkey Trot is on slate for Friday, November 14th from 8:30 a.m. until 9:45 a.m. at the Lufkin High School behind the visitor’s side of Abe Martin Stadium.  Special Needs students from Anderson Elementary, Brookhollow Elementary, Trout Primary, Brandon Elementary, Slack Elementary and Herty Primary will be partnered with a LHS athlete from Cross Country, Girls Track, Softball, Baseball and Volleyball for a “trot” on the cross country course.
 
The event started three years ago when the cross country team invited a couple of the Herty Primary Special Needs classes to LHS for a "Herty Turkey Trot" (about a .30 mile run) followed by breakfast, games and fun activities. The event has since grown to include 6 schools and all of the LHS first period athletic sports (baseball, softball, cross country, girls track, volleyball, tennis).  
 
The 5K through 3rd grade students range in disabilities from being deaf to wheel chair bound. Some students have mental and/or physical challenges. They will stay partnered with their high school athlete throughout the entire event. Approximately 100 students will have a .30-mile run on the cross-country course followed by breakfast, games, music and other activities.
 
Kim Kassaw, Director of Special Services, said, “There aren’t a lot of opportunities for our self contained unit students to participate in, but the Turkey Trot has a one-on-one, supervised assistant to allow them to meaningfully participate. The student athletes at the high school will walk the course with them, and provide the assistance they need. It’s a positive return for both the high school student and the special needs student. It’s amazing to watch.”
 
Coach Jerri Kay Boyd, Girls’ Athletics Directors, helps coordinate the day and works with the elementary and primary schools to make sure the day is organized and fun for the kids.
 
Coach Boyd said, “It's truly hard to tell which group has the most fun but I feel certain both groups benefit from the event.  As athletes, there is nothing more fun to share than their personal passion for physical fitness and an opportunity to play games and there is most certainly not a group more excited to share it with.  Our special needs children are so much more than children with special needs, they are children with special gifts and this is a great time for their gifts to shine. The bottom line is, kids are all just that, kids...they all enjoy fun games and someone to recognize their abilities and smiles. The children absolutely light up as they cross the "finish" line and receive their medals hand in hand with their partner athletes who are just as proud.  Our athletes will also tell you on any game field, there are no differences- just games.  It's a great time shared by all and we are blessed at Lufkin ISD to have such great kids.”
 
Special Thanks to Dale Botsford at Regional Physical Therapy Center for being a t-shirt sponsor for the event.
 
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