Peru, Nebraska – Forty-eight students visited Peru State College this week as part of the First Annual Exceptional Bobcat Sports Camp. Students with disabilities in grades K-8 worked with Peru State student-athletes from the cheerleading, women’s basketball and men’s basketball teams.
The camp was sponsored by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
Emily Bryant (Union, Nebraska), a member of CEC, writes, “It is important to highlight the abilities of students and to show each student that they have individual talents that can be used to accomplish great things inside and outside of the classroom. Highlighting individual abilities helps to improve confidence levels as each individual learns what they can successfully do with the talents they possess.”
“Overall, improving their confidence gives students the motivation needed to overcome every challenge, both big and small, that they face.”
Students attended from Auburn, Beatrice, Conestoga, Humboldt, Palmyra, Pawnee City and the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired (NCECBVI) in Nebraska City.
The day culminated in a basketball game against parents and other volunteers. Peru State faculty, staff and students were invited to cheer from the stands.
Anna Meyer (Atkinson, Nebraska), one of the camp’s lead organizers, writes, “The students gained so much from having college-athletes take time out of their day to coach them and to teach basketball skills and cheer chants.”
“The college athletes made the students’ day for this camp! It is one thing to have the CEC members teach the students sports skills, but it is completely different to have the athletes teach them.”
Dr. Felicity Post, assistant professor of special education, adds, “Hosting this event increased societal understanding of students with disabilities and broadened cultural perspectives of this unique population. Additionally, students with disabilities were exposed to the culture of Peru State College as well as that of a college-level athletic team.”
“More importantly, this event allowed students to build social, behavioral, and sports skills all while laughing, playing, and having a great time!”
Special thanks were given to the Snyder Cultural Endowment Fund for the sponsorship of the camp. Supported by generous donations made by and in honor of Dr. William Snyder, the Snyder Cultural Understanding Endowed Fund provides financial support for experiential learning consisting of cultural expansion, increased societal understanding and a broadening of the Peru State College student’s personal growth.
The Council for Exceptional Children is an international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted.
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