In just under a month The Special Olympics comes to Los Angeles. From July 25th through August 2nd during #LA2015, parents will have a unique opportunity to live messages of inclusivity and global citizenship with their families, reinforcing the kinds of qualities that we hope will become part of the fabric of our children’s lives. Philanthroparent is happy to coach you through a few exercises to help you embrace the spirit of the games.
There are several activities you can do from home to build momentum for the events:
*Learn more about some of the lived experiences of those participating in the games. For example, some contestants are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental disabilities. Read the book Just Ask by Sonia Sotomayor to develop a greater awareness for the many life experiences of children, from nut allergies, to asthma, to disabilities. Or, check out this Parent Guide from Sprout who provide resources and services to families with a child diagnosed with ASD.
*Make welcome cards or signs for the athletes (in their native tongue if you wish). Check out the delegations list. Or, explore your family’s heritage through the cultural connections the delegations can provide.
*Make a Circle of Inclusion– an official symbol for the games. Take pictures of your family, neighbors and friends within it. Share your snapshots on social media with #ReachUpLA.
*Consider your own family’s stories of determination and explore the #whatsonething series about athletes overcoming things they were told they could never do… but did anyways.
*Support An Athlete. Your support with help assure an athlete’s successful journey at the games.
The Main Event
*Simply attend the games, which are FREE and open to the public!
*Who else can you invite? What people or community organizations that you are already connected with would support the spirit of these games? What sports teams are your family members a part of that could drum up even more support?
*Teens 14 and over can become a “Fans in the Stands” – recruit your own delegation of cheering fans for one of the sporting events.
*Check out the Volunteer Opportunities for teens ages 16 − 18.
The Special Olympics bring an even stronger connection to the valuable lessons that sports can provide. If you have sports fans in your household, you can use #LA2015 to also introduce concepts of acceptance and inclusion into their socially conscious lives. It’s a win-win. See you at the games!