Help The Arc find young athletes

Published 5:15 pm Saturday, April 27, 2013

Want to start a movement of inclusion and acceptance with youth in your school?

Help The Arc Mower County start a Special Olympics Young Athletes program. Young Athletes focus on introducing children 2 to 7 years of age to sports skills. The Young Athletes curriculum helps develop a child’s gross and motor skills.

What better way to bring your child with disabilities and other students together to learn skills that will go into their eventual sports participation?

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Whether as a Special Olympics athlete or Unified partner once they turn 8, Young Athletes helps prepare children for the next step they take in their sports participation.

Curriculum focuses include: Foundational skills, balance and jumping, walking and running, throwing, sriking, kicking, trapping and catching and advanced skills.

Get involved with youth

Do you feel like it’s time for students at your school to step up and make a change?

Now’s your chance to get involved in Special Olympics Minnesota’s Youth Activation Committee (YAC).

This committee brings together youth and without intellectual disabilities from across Minnesota to make their home communities more accepting and inclusive for people of all ability levels.

Join the YAC and carry out a variety of projects in your school to engage students in eliminating the use of the r-word, taking the Polar Bear plunge, starting a Unified sports team or volunteering at an event. Make your school more actively involved in the mission of Special Olympics Minnesota today.

The YAC will be composed of students with and without intellectual disabilities who will attend quarterly sessions focusing on:

•Special Olympics Minnesota as a movement for change and inclusion

•Youth leadership

•Social justice and advocacy

•Sports as a platform for attitude change

•Inclusion of all abilities

•Local and state strategies for youth engagement and activation in Summer Camp, Young Athletes and other activities to be determined by YAC.

Special Olympics Minnesota will work with the YAC with a particular focus on ensuring strategies for inclusive leadership are incorporated in agendas, ensuring that youth with and without intellectual disabilities, together not only lead in the design and facilitation of the meeting, but also are enabled to co-create solutions to the social justice and school climate challenges they address upon returning home after the quarterly meetings.

An emphasis is placed on how to advocate for change by working alongside and together with individuals with and without disabilities, not just on behalf of.

Upcoming Events

•Monday, April 29: Dave Reedstrom, a Special Needs Planner and a parent of an adult child with Down syndrome, will be holding a free informational seminar that includes the following topics: Guardianships, wills, supplemental needs trusts, power of attorney, letter of intent, avoiding family conflict and reducing professional costs. The seminar will be held at 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. at The Arc of Mower County. Call 507-433-8994 to register.

•May 1-June 3: Fudge Sale

•May 2: Special Olympics Softball begins

•May 6: Unified Kickball begins

•May 14: First annual Meeting and Awards

Jamey Helgeson is the Program Director at The Arc Mower County and can be reached at or by calling 507-433-8994, Extension 102. You can also visit our website ( and follow us on Facebook (