CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — The excitement is contagious at Ecoff Elementary School, and the support is overflowing for some of Chesterfield County’s youngest athletes.
There are cheers, claps and even pom poms for children participating in this week’s Little Feet Meet, a Special Olympics program for ages 2 to 7.
There is a show of support, and the message is one everyone here hopes to spread well beyond the field, court and track.
“We’ve been trying to promote inclusivity within our school so that all students are supportive in anything they do,” says Rachael Early, a Kindergarten Teacher. “We are trying to spread a community of compassion and support for every student to feel throughout the year.”
Each child is recognized for the special reason he or she is a force on the field. They tear through banners as their names are called. Twenty-seven children from Ecoff Elementary are competing in the Little Feet Meet, which will draw in about one thousand young athletes for several events.
L.C. Bird High School students are also on hand for fun and friendship. Unity is the focus of a new program there too.
“We’re trying to start something so people can be more together without them having to worry about their differences,” explains Sophomore Nathan Carino.
Adds Junior Chris Roberts, “Labeling is a bad thing to do and that’s why I want to help us to spread our message as far as we can.”
The Little Feet Meet is Thursday, April 21 from 9 a.m. until noon at James River High School.