Latest Event Updates
Dear Belmont High School LABBB Students:
Please view my video that I posted below.
Let me tell you how I did this, I learned something new.
First, I used my iPad to record this video. The ipad application has a feature that allows you to record a video and then send it directly to your Youtube account. After you record your video, all you need to do is input your Youtube username and password right into the application and it automatically uploads to your account. I then went to my youtube account, copied the “embed code” and pasted into the blog post. It was that simple.
Barbieri: Collaboration makes these games special
LABBB students and Best Buddies show off their medals at the Special Olympics at Lexington High School. Pictured, from left: Jack Ullian, LABBB student; Tara Patel, Best Buddy; Alex Beja, Best Buddy; Michael Curtin, LABBB student; Alicia McDonough, LABBB student; Demetri Monovoukas, Best Buddy; Connor Stewart, LABBB student; Juliet Eyraud, Best Buddy president.
By Patric Barbieri
Posted May 19, 2011 @ 06:58 AM
Lexington —Back in the late 1970s, the Special Olympics started its first local event at Lexington High School with approximately 30 high school athletes competing from the LABBB Collaborative. The LABBB Collaborative provides special education services to students from Lexington, Arlington, Bedford, Burlington, and Belmont. The event was first organized by a Lexington High School physical education teacher and Lexington student leader volunteers, and was held in the Lexington High School Field House. One of those student leaders was 1980 Lexington High School graduate Paula Rizzo. Paula, Special Olympics director, has been working for the LABBB Collaborative since 1985 and currently is the integration and recreational coordinator.
The success of these games is possible by the collaboration between staff from the LABBB Collaborative and Lexington High School. The bridge that brought this collaboration together was the Best Buddies program, which has been made up of student volunteers from Lexington High School since the spring of 2004.
On Wednesday, May 11, the eighth annual Special Olympics games took place at the Lexington High School track and field. This year the event had more than 200 athletes from the LABBB Collaborative elementary, middle, and high school programs, and an amazing 400 student volunteers from Best Buddies. Best Buddies are student volunteers who attend Lexington, Bedford and Arlington high schools, and the Chenery Middle School in Belmont. Without the commitment and dedication of the Best Buddies this event could not be organized with this many athletes.
The procession, which was led by the Lexington town selectmen and School Committee, began promptly at 9 a.m., as the athletes and their Best Buddies walked toward the podium on the Lexington track. The opening ceremonies began as Natalie Cohen, Lexington High School principal and master of ceremonies for the Special Olympics, introduced the athletes by classroom. Students from all LABBB member communities participated. As the athletes gathered behind the podium and the spectators were filling the bleachers and tents, they listened to Jackie O’Leary, LABBB student, sing our national anthem. As the torch lighting ceremony began, a Lexington police officer and two athletes raised the Olympic torch and approached the podium.
The spirit of these games is more than just the sporting events. It brings a community of people together to support the athletes and raise awareness of students with disabilities. The Best Buddies and the LABBB connection could not happen without the LABBB students being part of our public schools. This opportunity is what makes great events like this possible. We don’t have any famous sports stars hosting, but we have the dedicated LABBB staff and the Best Buddies!
Patric Barbieri is director of the LABBB Collaborative.
On Saturday June 4th, Jeff Hamling, Kim Greene and Tom Brincklow from LABBB Arlington High School will be participating for their second year in the Best Buddies Challenge. Together Jeff and Kim are raising $2,700 to support the positive work that Best Buddies does. They will each be biking 20 miles along the Cape.
On Friday May 6th, they held a fundraising event at the Arlington Elks Lodge in an effort to reach their participation goal. This event was a great success raising $850 towards the cause. Much support came from LABBB coworkers who also believe in Best Buddies. Jeff and Kim initially became involved with the bike challenge as two of their students parents’ participate on a yearly basis and are also strong advocates for the cause. Together, on June 4th, Jeff, Kim and these LABBB parents will be riding to support a great cause!
8th Annual LABBB Collaborative Special Olympics
Back in the late 1970’s the Special Olympics started its first local event at Lexington High School with approximately thirty high school athletes competing from the LABBB Collaborative. Each year the event had a special guest; a famous Boston sports athlete who supported the Special Olympics, these stars included: Jerry Remy, Ronny Lee, Bobby Orr, and Dave Cowens. The event was first organized by a Lexington High School Physical Education Teacher and the Lexington student leader volunteers and was held in the Lexington High School Field House. One of those student leaders was 1980 Lexington High School graduate Paula Rizzo. Paula, Special Olympics Director, has been working for the LABBB Collaborative since 1985 and currently is the Integration and Recreational Coordinator.
In the early 1980’s the Special Olympics took a long hiatus and in 2003 the proposal to re-introduce the Special Olympics back to Lexington was starting to be discussed. Van Seasholes, Lexington High School Principal in 2004, gave his full support for this event and the Lexington High School community came together to revitalize the Special Olympics. The success of these games is possible by the collaboration between staff from the LABBB Collaborative and Lexington High School. The bridge that brought this collaboration together was the Best Buddies, volunteers from the Lexington High School who planned and organized the event in the spring of 2004. The event was a huge success with about one hundred athletes and eighty Best Buddies from the Lexington High School.
Planning this event starts a year in advance with meetings between the LABBB staff and Best Buddies and it takes a significant amount of work to make it successful. Juliet Eyuard, Lexington High School Senior and Best Buddies President, has been an incredible leader for this organization and all the Best Buddies events have made a significant impact on the LABBB students. The night before the event, Best Buddies volunteers come set up and make sure every detail is in place before they leave. They are excited about the event and their spirit is high because they know each and every athlete is going to be here on the field giving their very best.
On Wednesday, May 11, the 8th annual Special Olympics games took place at the Lexington track and field. This year the event had over two hundred athletes from the LABBB Collaborative elementary, middle and high school programs, and an amazing four-hundred student volunteers from the Best Buddies. The Best Buddies are students who attend Lexington, Bedford, and Arlington High School and the Chenery Middle School in Belmont. Without the commitment and dedication of the Best Buddies this event could not be organized with this many athletes.
The procession begins promptly at 9:00am as six-hundred athletes and Best Buddies walk towards the podium on the Lexington track and is led by the Lexington Town Selectman and School Committee members. The opening ceremonies begin as Natalie Cohen, Lexington High School Principal and Master of ceremonies for the Special Olympics, introduces the athletes by classroom which represent all LABBB programs located in all five member districts. The athletes gather behind the podium as the spectators are filling the bleachers and tents as they listen to Jackie O’Leary, LABBB Student, sing our National anthem. Natalie welcomes the community of Athletes, Parents, and Teachers attending the 8th annual games. Next, we hear the Athlete Oath, recited by Michael Avakian, and then the Official Oath from Lexington Athletic Director Naomi Martin and finally Paula Rizzo gives the Coaches oath. The torch lighting ceremony begins as a Lexington police officer and two athletes appear raising the Olympic torch approaching the podium. The Police officer reaches to light the Olympic Flame and the Games Begin.
Along the track and field myriad vendors are lined up serving food, coffee, and lunch for the community. Under the Olympic tent we hear the DJ playing music which adds a nice flavor to the event and athletes come to rest, dance, get their face painted by one of the Best Buddies or just socialize with friends.
The spirit of these games is more than just the sporting events; it brings a community of people together to support the athletes and raise awareness of students with disabilities. The Best Buddies and the LABBB connection could not happen without the LABBB students being part of our public schools. This opportunity is what makes great events like this possible. We don’t have any famous sports stars hosting, but we have Paula Rizzo and the Best Buddies!
*This event cannot operate without the support of fund raising monies. The “LABBB Legends” a group of LABBB staff, have formed a fundraising effort for the past two years. For the second year, they jumped into the frigid waters of Revere Beach in the beginning of March to support the Special Olympics. This year alone the LABBB Legends raised over $6,000. We need to congratulate them and say thank you for your commitment.
Late 1970’s to early 1980’s
Back in the late 1970’s the Special Olympics started with about 30 high school athletes, 20 student leader volunteers at it was held inside in the Lexington High School field house. All the Athletes attended the LABBB Collaborative at Lexington High School The event was attended by a famous sports athletes including: Jerry Remy, Ronny Lee, Bobby Orr, and Dave Cowens.
Fast forward to 2011
The event is in know in its 5th year after a long hiatus and on Wednesday, May 11 we will have over 200 hundred athletes from elementary, middle and high school, and over 400 hundred student volunteers. Furthemore, many vendors including Traders Joes will be set up at the Special Olympics site outside on the town of Lexington’s track and field. We don’t have any famous sports stars, but we do have Paula Rizzo, LABBB integration and recreational Coordinator, who is the event Director and the Best Buddies from Lexington, Arlington and Bedford High School and Best Buddies from the Chenery Middle school in Belmont program. These schools are part of the LABBB community where LABBB operates programs.
Paula Rizzo, Special Olympics event Director
Come and enjoy the event on Wednesday, May 11. Opening ceremonies begin at 9:00.
Lisa Etsell, LABBB Teacher at our Chenery Middle School Program in Belmont, applied and was picked for her Pepsi Re-Fresh Idea. She applied to get new iPads and SmartBoard for her classroom and if she gets enough votes for the top 10 she will win $10,000.
Please help by supporting her here at: Lisa’s Pepsi Refresh Idea.
In a previous post I spoke about my experiences at an “unconference” back in January. On Saturday, May 7, there will be another “unconference,” called edcamp Boston. If you are interested in going you can sign up here: edcamp Boston Registration
If you would like to read about the last unconference I attended please click here: ntcamp burlington.