Canceled Mead High Special Olympics participants get surprise from peers

MEAD, Wash. — Students and staff at Mead High School brought some much needed school spirit to students with disabilities Thursday.

May 28 was supposed to be a big day for them – the Mead School District’s Special Olympics. This is actually the second year it’s been canceled; It didn’t happen last year because of weather.

It was supposed to be a day all about students with disabilities. About 100 students from across the school district normally show up at Mead High School’s track field to compete for fun.

“The obstacle course and the bikes that I go around the cone and all the way back,” Student Carter Rieder said of his favorite activities at the Olympics.

Even though he couldn’t participate in those activities, he still had a fun time today for a different reason.

A group of students and staff from a leadership class met about 30 Mead High School Developmental Learning Center students where they’re at: Home.

“It was a surprise, huh?” Drew Rieder asked his son.

“It was a surprise,” Carter responded.

A very welcome surprise for many.

Senior Cody Marshall happened to be sitting on his front lawn doing a word search as cars drove by.

“I felt so happy to see everyone who I know from Mead,” he told 4 News Now.

The students from the leadership class were happy to see him, too.

The Special Olympics, or what Mead calls the DLC Olympics, made students feel part of something.

Being in the stands watching felt great for some students, too.

“They love it. Watching them do that, it makes you happy, and you just feel like  ‘Oh, my gosh,’ you just feel such a part of a school that everyone else is with them as well,” explained Megan McCracken, a student part of the leadership class.

It looked like the students still felt that Thursday, as the leadership group walked up to their homes with signs and dropped off goodie bags.

“I think it’s a tough time for everybody, especially for our special needs community who really looked forward to things like the DLC Olympics,” Drew said. “Carter’s doing awesome and really handling things well and we’re really looking forward to everything getting back on track soon.”

Everyone is looking forward to getting back on track in life, and these students, hopefully, on the field for the Special Olympics next year.

“The Mead District has always supported the DLC kids. We do everything we can to try and make these kids feel like they belong,” said Rhonda Schalock, a teacher.

That’s the school’s slogan: “You belong.”

Mead High School’s Developmental Learning Center program has about 30 students who live all over Spokane County. The leadership group showed up for all of them.

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