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Special Olympians have their day at Memorial Stadium

Nine-year-old Suprener Acorn is hoisted into the air by family members during the Special Olympics event at Selma's Memorial Stadium. (Jay Sowers | Times-Journal)

Nine-year-old Suprener Acorn is hoisted into the air by family members during the Special Olympics event at Selma’s Memorial Stadium. (Jay Sowers | Times-Journal)

Memorial stadium was booming with laughter and music from the Selma High School Band as special needs children from the Selma City and Dallas County School systems prepared for their Special Olympics events Friday.

For the first time in six years, the Selma City Schools Special Education Department was hosting their Special Olympics event. Selma City Schools’ special education coordinator Angernette Carter said she wanted to bring back the event, which was held for more than 10 years before it was discontinued six years ago, to serve as a learning experience for the students.

“We wanted to expose our children to know how to work well with others,” Carter said.

The Special Olympics event allows students with special needs to enjoy a competitive, fun day of track and field events, such as shot put, wheelchair race, 50 meter run and more.

As a part of Carter’s mission to unify the community through the Special Olympics event, she invited the Special Education Department out to be part of the festivities.

Dallas County Schools’ special education director Sharon Streeter said this was an occasion she couldn’t miss.

“I feel this is a great opportunity with Selma City and Dallas County special education students coming together,” Streeter said. “It’s a seems like a wonderful beginning to a partnership.”

The athletic occasion kicked off with a parade around the track with Dallas County Superintendent of Education Don Willingham and Acting Superintendent of Education Larry DiChiara leading the crowd.

Selma resident Julia Acorn was on hand Friday to watch her 9-year-old daughter Suprener take part in the softball toss, and it was a day both were enjoying.

“She loves this. She loves sports and anything outside,” Julia said. “And I love to see her out here doing the things she loves today. It gets me so excited to see her this happy.”