The Special Olympics program in St. Mary Parish originated in 1974 with 18 students. Today it provides services for the low incidence population that are mentally disabled. The basic objectives of this program are:
- To provide one with successful experiences in sports.
- To gain confidence and self‑mastery which will enable students to build a positive self‑image.
- To provide opportunities for socialization.
- To assist in the transfer of skills learned in the classrooms (self‑help, academics, and communication) to a more natural environment.
Over the years, this program has shown its value and worth and is now an integral part of the curriculum for the mentally disabled.
This program is a year-round program. The school system participates in the following official Special Olympics sports: bowling, basketball, and track, and field. There are levels of competition: local, area, district, state, and every four years, international.
Special Education teachers and volunteers who are involved in this program attend training schools throughout the year to become certified as Special Olympic coaches.
Special Olympics is sponsored by the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation, Louisiana Special Olympic Inc., St. Mary Parish School Board (Special Education Department), and the communities throughout this parish.
If further information is needed, please call (337) 828‑1767 and ask for Steve Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org).