Friday, June 14, 2024

Quincy hosts Special Education Field Day

Staff Writer | May 20, 2024 3:00 AM

QUINCY — Connie Martin, special education director for the Quincy School District, said she had a goal for the participants in the Special Education Field Day on Friday. 

“I want them to be able to have their moment to shine,” she said. “To be able to participate in a sports event and get their moment in the spotlight. And for their parents to see it.”

Life skills students from Quincy, Othello and Connell ran races around the Quincy High School track, jumped the long jump and threw a rubber ball in a modified shot put event.

“There are a little over 90 kids, from kindergarten all the way to 21 (years of age),” Martin said. 

Field Day is an annual event, with Quincy hosting it the first time. 

“This is the biggest one we’ve done. We never included high school students before,” Martin said. 

The participants lined up in front of the grandstand and did a lap around the track to kick off the day’s festivities. Along with the running, jumping and throwing, children could get their faces painted at a booth run by volunteers. 

In fact, there were volunteers all over the field, QHS students, teachers and community residents, worked the long jump pit and the shot put circle, helped serve lunch and did other chores. Martin estimated there were about 100 volunteers.  

Quincy students Jesus Carrillo and Dashka Schaapman were among them, recording the results at the long jump pit. Schaapman said she’s interested in a career in special education when she graduates, and participating in Field Day gave her some experience and a chance to provide some support to Quincy’s life skills students. Carillo said he had a relative with Down Syndrome and liked the idea of helping out.

Alyssa Ross, a QSD speech language pathologist, was running the face painting booth. 

“I work with the kiddos and wanted to volunteer and watch them do awesome, of course,” Ross said.

“I want them to get a sense of community, to see that they can be as involved as their general education peers and be supported by all of the district around them,” she said. “The biggest thing is the sense of community, though. They get the chance to do events they wouldn’t necessarily get to do otherwise.”

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at

    A participant flies in the air at the long jump pit at Field Day.
    A participant at the face painting booth checks out the result.
    A runner happily breaks the tape at Field Day Friday.
    A runner in the wheelchair race crosses the finish line.
    A participant gets his face painted at Field Day.
    Field Day participants jump into the long jump pit.