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First Annual Special Olympics Held at LFHS

Superintendent Hernandez participates with the children. Photo: Martha Ibarra/LFN

by Martha E. Ibarra/LFN

The Special Education Department of La Feria ISD, in partnership with Area One of Special Olympics Texas, hosted their first annual Motor Activities Training Program (MATP) on Thursday, January 25. The event allowed for special education students from all over the district to gather at the La Feria High School gymnasium to participate in various activities such as bowling, basketball, and races.

In an effort to promote the Special Olympics, motor activity events are hosted throughout the valley to give severe special education students the opportunity to be included and participate in fun sporting activities. “In order to include everyone and get everyone involved, this program is more so for participation purposes than for competition,” said Ytzel Trinidad, a program associate for Special Olympics Texas.

The La Feria Special Education Department was once part of the Mercedes Special Education Cooperative, which would host annual MATP events. However, according to Lillian Ramos, special education director for LFISD, those events were aimed at a small group of students aged three to seven. Ramos takes pride in the fact that now La Feria can not only host their own MATP events, but they can also include special education students of all ages. “This year, since it was our first time around, we wanted to do it for the whole entire district. We don’t want to leave anyone behind; we want to include everyone,” said Ramos.

L to R: Lillian Ramos (Special Education Director), Ytzel Trinidad (Special Olympics Texas- Program Associate), Jessica Farias ( Event Coordinator). Photo: Martha Ibarra/LFN

Several members of the La Feria Fire and Police departments were also present at the MATP event. They spent their time interacting with the children as they participated in various activities. “Here today you will see the fire department and police department and it’s all about family and community and to me that is outstanding,” said LFISD superintendent Cathy Lee Hernandez.

Hernandez, who spent her time cheering on and participating with the children, believes it’s important for the district to host events like this because it allows for everyone to come together and for the children to have a great time. “When you host events like this, it shows that all of our children matter. But not only that, it brings our community together as well and everybody knows and believes that we care for all our children- to me that’s important,” said Hernandez.

MATP events benefit children in the special education department and according to Hernandez, this MATP event is the first of many more to come for LFISD.

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