Field Day Unifies Locals Schools for First Time

Jaydi Swanson, Views Editor

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We may not all operate at the same level or have the same abilities, but we all love to have fun. And EHS’s Unified Field Day, headed by senior Patrick Driscoll and sophomore Zack Gibbs, brought students together to do just that.

Students with and without disabilities from 10 schools met on Monday to play games, like kickball, tennis, football and more. While EHS has hosted a field day for some time, this is the first year that other schools were invited.

“My favorite part was getting to see friends from other schools that I don’t get to see every day,” said senior Annie McGinnis, who has been a part of Key Club since her freshman year and was in charge of the National Honor Society volunteers for the field day.

After spending a week in Baku, Azerbaijan in September at a leadership camp, Driscoll and Gibbs have been planning the field day, hoping to increase local involvement in unified sports, where students with and without disabilities play on the same teams.

“Edwardsville has to travel up north long distances frequently to compete, so in the future, we are hoping for more home-friendly events,” Driscoll said.

Senior Emily Magruder, who assisted in the planning, said the process was fun.

“It was pretty smooth,” Magruder said. “We all had our parts, and it came together nicely. If one slacked, another picked up and vice versa.”

The smooth planning led to a successful event as Magruder and McGinnis said they saw everyone enjoying themselves and making new friends. Magruder believes this was a good opportunity to show the importance of unified sports.

“They are very important because they show that special needs and general ed kids are all equal,” Magruder said. “Not one person has lower importance than the other.”

Driscoll was also pleased with how the event turned out and was happy to see the months of planning come to life.

“I think the event turned out exactly how I dreamed it up,” Driscoll said. “I believe both the participants and the volunteers gained something positive, and I can’t ask for anything more than that.”

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Field Day Unifies Locals Schools for First Time