Courtesy of John Glueck
A Madera County student participates in the Life Games held at the Madera District Fairgrounds.
The Madera County Superintendent of Schools Life Games were held at the Madera District Fairgrounds.
The games grew out of a desire to demonstrate that all students, even the most severely disabled, can be included in any activity with the right preparation.
The event connects the community to students and families, and to community resources.
Students from all districts in Madera County are served in the regional programs operated by Madera County Superintendent of Schools.
The students are the competitors for the games and champions not only for the games, but for the way they face their daily challenges.
Students have the opportunity to participate in a series of activities focusing on physical education and visual and performing arts standards. This year, a sensory center was added to the event, which took place April 11.
More than 350 students with special needs participated and approximately 300 staff members and community volunteers assisted them.
Two dozen community agencies, including local police and fire departments, offered informational booths for students.
The Madera Rotary Club cooked 800 hamburgers and hot dogs for students and volunteers. A major financial sponsor of the event has been the Brothers of the Third Wheel organization. Club members were at the event with their trikes for students to sit on and take pictures.
MCOE LIFE Games received a Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association (CSBA) and the 2016 Apple for Excellence Award from California County Boards of Education (CCBE).