Student shares importance of Special Olympics games for entire student body

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News 12 This Morning/Monday March 24, 2014

COLUMBIA CO., Ga. (WRDW)--A lot of excitement for students at Columbia Middle who have a delegation of 10 representing them at the Special Olympics.

And this year the entire school's joining in at a pep rally to send off their athletes.

"Special Olympics is just a great experience for them just to come and hang out and and play games and win medals and it's just something where they can feel like they're a part of something big," said Gianna Evans.

Evans, an 8th grade student at Columbia Middle, tells me she has a passion for working with special needs students.

Recently, she's gotten the chance to help out in Columbia Middle's Autism Spectrum Disorder classroom where every student is competing in the games.

"I realized at a young age that I wanted to work with children, but I realized I have an even bigger heart for working with children that have disabilities," she explained. "It's not that they're disabled. They're just more positive kids and they live life to the fullest."

She says aside from being a positive experience for participants, getting the entire school involved is also beneficial for the rest of her classmates because each special Olympic athlete is paired with a student buddy who helps them through there more than a dozen events.

"When an opportunity like Special Olympics comes along, everybody wants to jump right at it," she said. "And, they're just so excited."

"Not everyone is as fortunate as I am to to be able to work with these wonderful wonderful positive students," Evans went on to say. "But it's so great that they get to be able to just cheer them on for their competition."

All competing students at Columbia Middle brought home at least one medal from the games.

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