The City Government of Makati together with Makati Social Welfare Department celebrated the 40th National Disability Prevention & Rehabilitation (NDPR) Week last July 17 to 23, 2018. This year’s theme was “Kakayahan at Kasanayan Para sa Kabuhayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran.” This is to raise awareness in understanding the needs and capabilities of PWDs to give them more opportunities in contributing to the betterment of society and the development of the economy.
Center for Excellence in Special Education (Stepping Stone) Foundation Inc. joined to celebrate some of the following events, “Paligsining ng Batang May K” and the “PWD Special Olympics”.The NDPR: “PWD Special Olympics” was actually scheduled last July 30, 2018 but due to the inclement weather that day, it was re-scheduled last Thursday, August 09, 2018. We chose our participants from Early Intervention Eunice Margaret Dapito and Functional Academics Class, Antoinne Kravin Bernardino, Maverick Pacit, Duke Van Imerick
Morale, Sophia Rey and Nathan Dacuno. They were accompanied by their proud parents and Teacher Hannah De Vera, Teacher Lia Apostol and Teacher Routhche Delin.
This was a good opportunity for our students to get exposed in such activities especially sports. They can develop in many areas of learning such as gross motor and social skills. They can also acquire knowledge and skills by playing with other schools’ students who are already participants of sports events like “Pambansang Palaro.”
The event started with a short parade to introduce different schools within City of Makati and its representative for muse and escort. Sophia, our muse, wore a chic badminton attire and Duke, our dear escort, wore a manly basketball attire. They showed their confidence and appealing costumes as they represented Stepping Stone during parade. All of the participants also did well in representing their respective schools to impress the judges.
After the parade, the officiators finally opened the Olympics. The following events are 50-meter and 100-meter dash, standing long jump, shot put and 4 by 200-meter baton relay. The participants of Stepping Stone competed in standing long jump (female division) and 4 by 200-meter baton relay. As we begin the following events, we thanked God for providing us calm weather even if the sky were gray that day.
Most of the players who are participating in the said events are already receiving trainings so they could compete in different National Special Olympics. It is inspiring that despite their disabilities, they have this persistence in doing trainings to get better in sports. Our students in Stepping Stone can see this as a good example and apply it as they participate in some National Special Olympics in the future.
Eunice Margaret Dapito from Early Intervention class is Stepping Stone’s representative for Standing Long Jump. We all looked forward as Eunice competed because that was her first time playing the said sport. She actually did a great job and showed enthusiasm in competing even though she was the smallest among the players. I think that’s what coaches, teachers and parents are proud of; to see the kids enjoying regardless of winning or losing.
The other sport event that Stepping Stone participated in was the 4 by 200-meter Baton Relay. The four boys of Functional Academics Class, Duke, Kravin, Maverick and Nathan prepared themselves so they can run as fast as they can. Nathan was assigned at the starting line, followed by Maverick, Duke on the 3rd lane and Kravin on the finishing lane. After the
“Ready… Set… Go!” cue, they started to run excitedly and competed bravely with other participants. All of the teachers never looked so proud as they also ran with them as their guides. Especially the parents who joined their kids. Even if they were not as fast as the other runners, you can see the happiness as they completed the race.
This NDPR: “PWD Special Olympics” event indeed had a big impact for Children with Special Needs. They enjoyed and learned at the same time. They got to meet new friends, explored a friendly sports environment and learned sportsmanship. We might see some of our students here at Stepping Stone competing, winning medals and successful in sports in the future.
So, let’s encourage our students to take these little steps by joining these kinds of events and exposing them to create more opportunities, not just for the betterment of the society but for the improvement of themselves in the future.