Guntersville High School hosted a special day for special students Monday morning. It was like Special Olympics but was instead called SES Fun Day or Special Education Services. 

The football field was filled with sensory games, inflatables and lots of other hands-on activities.

More than 30 students participated in the event and around 60 volunteers helped make the day go smooth for every student there.

"This is the first time that Guntersville High School has hosted this event," said Guntersville High School principal Chris Andrews. "We are honored to be able to provide our facilities for our kids in the system. We appreciate all the various groups that helped volunteer here today to make this happen. It's the Guntersville community and Guntersville Schools coming together to help our kids and that's what we want to happen."

Dawn Osborne, Chief Administrative Officer for the Guntersville Board of Education, is also the Special Education Director and helped to put together the day.

"Typically they have the Special Olympics, however, because of COVID, Arab was not able to host this year," Osborne said. "When I came on board in February, Dr. Barnett asked me if we could put something together. Coming from DeKalb, the Optimist Club did a Race to Embrace, which is similar to today. So, this is just a mini-version. Just a fun day for these students to have a good time and for us to let them enjoy some different kinds of activities."

Osborne said it was very much a group effort.

"We are thankful for the help of our Anchor Club and the Guntersville High School baseball team," she continued. "We had different stations set up like bubbles, hoola hoops, batting off of a tee, fishing games, blow ups, Frisbee, mini-golf, fave painting, a tie-dye T-shirt station and also sensory throwing activities. Just different things for them to be able to play at their pace and not be overwhelmed by other things going on."

Joining the day's events was "A Little Something Extra Ice Cream" that came for a mid-morning treat. The students finished the day with lunch from Chick-fil-A.

"As far as the students volunteering, this is an opportunity for them to give some love to the students who sometimes may not have the opportunity for the extra attention," Osborne said. "It also may hopefully drive them to see if they want to do a job in service; such as education or health care. But, they have been phenomenal. They have loved on the students, laughed with them and they've played with them. We also couldn't have done this without the staff, the teachers and our peer professionals. Mrs. Jody Lemaster has been a constant in the special education program, as well as Dr. Barnett, Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Mabrey."

Osborne said she is thankful the event was hosted at Guntersville High School and has more plans for the future.

"We might do this again in the fall but we are certainly looking into making this an annual event for our students."

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