Yesterday, Saturday, was a day I have been excited about for a really long time. It was Florida's Special Olympics Summer Games. I signed up to be a Sports Enthusiast volunteer for the games. You see, a few years ago, I decided to make a connection with the grade 2-3 SVE (Severe Varying Exceptionalities) classroom at my school. I worked with the Special Education Teacher to create a "buddies" program for my students. I believe this has been one of the most positive experiences for all of my students in the past several years. Each year, during the first week of school, my students and the SVE students meet together and play get to know you games. I start with my new students right away sharing how everyone is different and unique, and that is what makes everyone so special. In my classroom we embrace differences while looking for similarities in everyone. It is amazing how quickly my little seven year old students grow to love their buddies. Everyday, we eat lunch together and go to specials together (art, music, or PE). We also have special occasions where we celebrate events with each other in the classroom. My students learn to be helpful positive role models, friends, and caring citizens. I believe if all children learned, interacted, and understood about different types of people at a young age, so much of the world's fear and prejudice would diminish. This year, my classroom has become an inclusive classroom with students with different needs fully included into the general education setting. My students have been incredibly open, kind, and caring young individuals. They truly amaze me each and every day! That is why I couldn't wait to volunteer at the Special Olympics on Saturday at the Wide World of Sports at Disney World. The children I met were incredibly inspiring. They tried their best at every activity, cheered on not only their teammates, but ALL the athletes, and never gave up. What wonderful life lessons these children and adults can teach and share with countless others. I know they have made a huge impact on me!