Iota Nu engages in athletic experience with special needs students

Friday marked March’s “Bulldogs on the Move” a joint effort between Pi Kappa Phi (Iota Nu), SSD and the Maroon Volunteer Center to provide an recurring event where every elementary special education student in the city can meet one another and not only stretch his or her legs, but also build valuable and lasting connections with classmates and members of the MSU student body.

“This is really important to her,” Event organizer Jacob Boyer said while gesturing to a young girl in a red wheelchair. “She is normally very sedentary, but here we get her to play catch, and she loves hanging out with the other girls.”

Boyer, along with co-chair Ben Thomas, orchestrates the Bulldogs on the Move program. He said that the focus of the program is not to simply provide the elementary kids with physical fitness and a place to play, but also to enable MSU students to become involved with lives and build bonds they would not otherwise have an opportunity to build.

“It’s not just recess,” said Jan Houston, who teaches special needs children at Henderson Elementary. “A student will reach specifically out to one of our students, and they get that one on one connection.”

Several of the volunteers that day have come back to help with the activity days multiple times. Boyer said he sees the volunteers that return often spend time with students they played with in the past.

“I feel like it is fun to get out and get to know all of the kids,” Chloe Wilks said, a freshman biological chemistry major, who started going to ‘Bulldogs on the Move’ days last fall. Wilks said she participated in a similar program at her high school.

Boyer said Pi Kappa Phi funds the events, provides the money to rent the gym, as well as pays for and rents the equipment the kids use.

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