Weekly roundup: Garden Grove hosts 52nd Special Games for students, OCDE celebrates Classified School Employee Week, and more

  • Warren Elementary School student Isaiah Ramirez competes in the torch relay event with support from Instructional Aide Yaritza Mercado at the 52nd Special Games at Bolsa Grande High School on May 19. (Photos courtesy of Garden Grove Unified School District)
  • Garden Grove students competed in relays, volleyball matches and football throws at this year's Special Games on May 19.
  • Garden Grove students with disabilities are greeted with high-fives at the 52nd Special Games event.
  • Jordan Secondary Learning Center student Franson Langinbelik sang the National Anthem at the Special Games.
  • Garden Grove students compete in the torch relay event to kick off the 52nd Special Games.
  • Mascots from Garden Grove's eight high school campuses kick off the 52nd Special Games with a race.

With National Physical Fitness and Sports Month coming to a close, more than 800 Garden Grove Unified students with special needs celebrated by competing in relays, volleyball matches, softball tosses and more at the district’s 52nd Special Games on May 19. 

The annual Olympic-style event was organized by the district’s department of adapted physical education and aims to celebrate the abilities of all students. About 550 student leaders from the district’s eight high school campuses welcomed each competitor to the stadium at Bolsa Grande High School with cheers of encouragement and high-fives.

The games kicked off with a torch relay, a high school mascot race and a performance of the national anthem sung by Franson Langinbelik, an Adult Transition Program student at Jordan Secondary Learning Center. Student volunteers assisted with sporting events including soccer kicks, football throws and basketball games as well as face painting.

“Special Games reflects our district’s commitment to support the academic and personal skills of all students and allows us to come together to celebrate the abilities of our special needs students,” Board of Education President Walter Muneton said in a statement. 

Here are the other stories we have been following this week:

Eighth-grade students from Fairmont Private Schools’ Historic Anaheim Campus
Woodbridge High School students join Orange County Health Care Agency representatives at the 2023 Directing Change awards ceremony.
(Courtesy of Orange County Health Care Agency)
  • Valencia High School student Amanda Liu and Assistant Principal William Truong were chosen for the 2023 Bezos Scholars Program, which invites scholars to attend leadership trainings while offering students support as they launch their community-focused projects.
  • United States Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a public warning on Tuesday about the risks that social media can pose to the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents.
Presidential Scholar Sophia Rabin
U.S. Presidential Scholar Sophia Rabin performed at the 2023 National YoungArts Awards in February.

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