Saturday, October 22

Introduction to Our Site

Welcome to Our Class Blog!

Greetings, readers! Whether you've stumbled upon us, or you're here to see what we've all been up to, we've got you covered!
This site is where our class is going to keep you informed on all of the things we've been doing with Special Olympics New Brunswick. Our class here at Miramichi Valley High School, formally called "Growth, Goals, and Grit" is dedicated to helping promote, organize, and volunteer for the 2019 SO New Brunswick Games being held in Miramichi, February, 2019.

A Special Thank You

Special Olympics New Brunswick and our class would like to thank The Frank and Julie McKenna Foundation for the generous donation that allows us to achieve our goal of promoting and organizing the 2019 New Brunswick Special Olympics Winter Games, being held in Miramichi in February.  We aim to make these games the best the province has seen.

Friday, December 21

Learning Lots from Lisa Harris!

Our class was so fortunate to have Lisa Harris sit in on our group discussions and give us her individual input. She came in on November 26th, and we told her our names and the projects we have each taken on so far. She was very impressed to see all of the progress we have made in our classroom, school, and community. 
Lisa had a very profound message; the skills and lessons we have learned in treating our Special Olympians is something we should apply to our everyday lives and treat everyone in this way. 
Lisa emphasized the fact that it takes no effort whatsoever to be kind to someone. The bottom line is that you never know what one simple act of kindness can do to an individual's life. 

This class has already proven to be more than just a class. So far, we have all learned and grown so much as individuals, and as Lisa was so kind to point out, we have learned lessons that will last us a lifetime.

- Gillian

Sunday, December 9

Christmas Dinner Volunteering!

On November 24th, our class took part in a Christmas dinner with the Special Olympians. It was so much fun meeting new athletes, and seeing the smiles on the faces of the athletes we already knew. They were sweet and so funny. When we first got there, a parent of one of the Olympians was at the door as we were coming in, and when we told her who we were she broke into tears. She told us that this was the first year that they had this many volunteers coming in to help out with the Olympics, and hearing that was very rewarding.

The turkey dinner was delicious and we were so happy to be able to help serve. Although the meal was a success, it's safe to say that the dance that made everyone’s night! When the lights turned off and the music started, it was like a magnet had pulled everyone onto the dance floor. A surprise visit from Santa Claus topped the night off! It was awesome seeing everyone so happy and full of the holiday spirit!
- Abby and Gillian

Friday, November 30

Informing Staff at MVHS

On Friday, November 30th, our leadership class gave a presentation to the MVHS staff on their Personal Development day. Even though some classmates were reluctant to speak, everyone took turns presenting, and it was a hit!

We have wanted to inform the staff what we have been doing since September. We spoke about curriculum outcomes, our projects, partnerships, and the games themselves. The feedback that we got afterward was more than we could have hoped for!
- Molly

Wednesday, November 21

For the upcoming New Brunswick Special Olympics Winter Games, we’ve been working on a project with Jordan Pinder, taking photos of our local athletes where they display their sport of choice for the games. Jordan is a local photographer who specializes in commercial and personal photography, and is a talented photo editor/photoshop artist. He has even taught us how to take and edit the pictures. Last week, some of our athletes came to MV and we began the photoshoot. We will be creating a poster for each and every one of our local athletes. Many of the athletes were very excited to get their picture taken by our very own Kale who took all the pictures himself! We also asked the athletes for quotes on if they are excited for the games, and it’s safe to say they are very pumped! 

Some of our unedited pictures:
Adam and Nick
Patrick McEvoy, a Special Olympian from our school


Recognition Well Deserved!

We are so proud to say that Ashlin Adams (see link attached for our nomination) has been approved as an addition to the Miramichi Sports Wall of Fame! He is 1 of 4 athletes to be inducted this year, and is the first Special Olympian to be recognized. Congratulations Ashlin!

Monday, November 19

Miramichi Sports Wall of Fame Nomination: Ashlin Adams

Our class just nominated Ashlin Adams for the Miramichi Sports Wall of Fame. If chosen for February 2019, he will be the first Special Olympian to be named to the wall. Ashlin has competed internationally in three World Games for Special Olympics: Alaska 2001; Nanano 2005; Shanghai 2007. He competed in snowshoeing and athletics. We interviewed him and his mother, and they were so appreciative of us thinking of him. We are amazed at all that Ashlin has accomplished as an athlete. We know he is very deserving to be on the Wall. Please see attached the nomination we did for him. 

- Kaitlyn, Kailla, Maggie

Tuesday, November 13

Proud Partnerships

Over the course of 2 months, our class has been working closely with Chief Fiander and his wife Carmel (Winter Games Chair), Josh Astle (SONB), Adam and Rick Hayward (Coaches), Jordan Pinder (Local Photographer), Gayle Waye (Local SO), Mario Richard (Coaching Certification), and many more local volunteers in organizing and helping out with Special Olympics. These people have helped guide us with their knowledge and experience, showing us the proper way to handle every situation. We are so grateful that they took the time out of their busy schedules to talk with us. We continue to have many group discussions about our athletes, the many events, and lots more concerning the organization of the games and the roles our class will partake.
They share their ideas, and we share ours. Together, we are making things run smoothly for everyone so far, and are looking forward to the up coming events in the future!

Tuesday, November 6

Miramichi Special Olympics Fundraiser!

When: Saturday, November 17th, 2018! 
Where: Sobey’s in Douglastown from 10:00am to 4:00pm! 

Sunday, November 4

Bowling like a Boss!

Every Sunday our local Special Athletes go bowling at the bowling alley here in Newcastle. They are able to advance their skills, as well as join in on some fun competition. On November 4th, Kamryn and I helped scorekeep. We each had 3 or 4 athletes and were in charge of making sure things went smoothly along with tallying up their points. I've never been great at the sport, and these athletes sure have me beat with their amount of bowling talent. They loved checking the scores as the game progressed, and at the end they were proud to recieve a slip of paper that had their scores on it. Big shout out to Michael Clark, the winner of the two games that I scorekept! I will be going back for sure!
- Kale

Tuesday, October 30

Swimming with Students!

Every Thursday at school, our Growth Goals and Grit class accompanies some of our special needs students in the pool. By organizing this, we are building relationships and giving the students a chance to be active with their friends. We play games and engage the students by leading with example. These swimming classes brighten our day, and always leave a positive imnpact on the entire class.

- Molly and Ellie

Letter Received from Miramichi Chapter of Special Olympics NB

Text: On behalf of Special Olympics, Miramichi Branch, we would like to thank your class of volunteers for all their help. The Floor Hockey Tournament was a big success and it was also a fun -filled Day! - Vicky MacLeod, Secretary

Monday, October 29

Life Lessons from Rick Hansen

Seeing Rick Hansen in Halifax made me very emotional, as he told his story of overcoming loss of ability. He was paralyzed at the age of fifteen, and it's crazy to think that someone so young could have their life shaken up as much as his was. It had fazed Rick quite a lot at the start, he thought his basketball career was over, and he couldn't do all of the things he was used to the same way, as he would be soon in a wheelchair.

On his 16th birthday after spending 2 months laying down in his hospital bed, his birthday wish became a reality. He sat up on his own, something that must've been so life changing.

From all the trauma he went through, Rick took his accident as something that shouldn't stop him from doing anything that he wants to do. Along with many things he has adapted to, Rick still enjoys his previous hobbies like fishing, and has even bungee jumped with Rick Mercer! He showed to our class that life has no limits, and it's truly a touching message and lesson that will stay with me forever.
- Lauren

Thursday, October 25

Meeting the Man in Motion: Rick Hansen

Last Thursday, October 25th, 13 of us went to Halifax, Nova Scotia. There, we attended a Belong Forum at Dalhousie University. The featured guest of the evening was Rick Hansen. He was honored with a doctorate from the President of the University before speaking.

The one thing that really resonated with me was how selfless and humble Dr. Hansen is. He does so many great things for those with disabilities and never takes any credit for it. Rick is a true hero and role model to us all.

This forum translates to our course because authentic inclusion is our main focus. Whether it is people with physical or intellectual disabilities, the general principles are the same. We have to take bigger steps forward to integrating everyone into everyday life. Every human has the fundamental right to "Belong" and it is everyone's responsibility to make this happen.

- Gehrig

Tuesday, October 23

District Recognition!

Text: On Saturday, October 20th, a group of students from Miramichi Valley High School made the choice to spend their day off helping coordinate and host a six-team NB Special Olympics Floor Hockey Tournament. This group of young adults, under the guidance of teacher Ann O’Neill MacDonnell, volunteered their time as officials, scorers, timekeepers, lunch servers, and avid supporters of the athletes. The character of the MVHS students was clearly evident throughout the day, as well as in the planning and events leading up to the tournament. Whether it was scheduling, attending an officiating clinic, or even arriving early to set up equipment or staying late to ensure everything was put away, these students contributed in so many ways to the success of this event.  The tournament featured teams from Western Valley, SouthEast, Capital, Acadian Peninsula, Fundy, and the host Miramichi squad. In all, 10 games were played throughout the day in this first qualifying event for the 2019 Special Olympics Winter Games being hosted in Miramichi in February.  Feedback and comments from parents, coaches, fans, and athletes were phenomenal in regards to the overall experience of the day, as well as the quality of the student volunteers. If the dedication and performance of these student leaders is any indication, the future at MVHS and in the community appears to be in good hands.

Saturday, October 20

From Twitter!

Text: Just got home from a @SpecialONB Floor Hockey Tourney in @mightymiramichi and everytime I am amazed by the dedication and passion of volunteers. Shout out to #MVHS students for spending the day with us!

Floor Hockey Fun!

On Saturday October 20th at MVHS we hosted the Special Olympics floor hockey qualifying tournament. It was such a great experience scorekeeping, reffing, and cheering on each team. I didn’t realize how intense floor hockey could be, although it was heartwarming when the teams would high five and congratulate the opposing team for scoring a goal! All of the teams from across the province had such great skill, and were so excited to be here. All of the MVHS students were so amazed at how competitive all the teams were and the intensity that the teams had! We’re so excited to see all the teams back here in February for the 2019 Special Olympics Winter Games!
- Kamryn

Saturday, October 13

Halloween Party 2018!

Special Olympics is more than just competition; it is about friendship and comradery.  
On October 13, the annual Halloween Party was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Chatham. Everyone came dressed as some spooky and fun characters. There was lots of music, dancing, games and of course good eats. Everyone had a ball. A big shout out to the volunteers who organized and made this party a huge success!
- Mrs. MacDonnell

Saturday, October 6

Football Tournament Awareness!

October 6th, the two high school football teams in Miramichi faced off in the Riverbowl Game to see who would take the championship title. This was our class' kickoff for bringing awareness to the Special Olympic Winter Games. The football players wore Special Olympics shoelaces and our local Special Olympians wore t-shirts and toques. They did the coin toss at the beginning of the game and gave out the Riverbowl cup and player of the game for each team at the end. We hosted a Barbeque, jumping castle and face painting which were enjoyed by all, especially Big Al Sutherland who hammered back 8 hotdogs!

Wednesday, October 3

Coach Certification!

Our class was very fortunate to receive a two-day coaching course for Special Olympics on October 3rd and 4th. This took place at our school, where Mario Richard gave a presentation that helped explain what the games are truly about, along with things we'll need to know in order to successfully and safely coach. Along with many group discussions, and the informational guide he gave to each of us, he truly opened our eyes and widened our horizons to what these games really mean (not only to athletes but to the community and spectators as well).

We learned that there are certain precautions we need to keep in mind when coaching, or helping out at the games. Some of what Mario explained was common knowledge, but a lot of which I had never known before.

Mario taught us about each disability and condition an athlete may have, and how to react in certain scenarios. His explanations of each aspect were very clear and direct. He always reminded us of what the true goal is for these athletes and our community. His message being to get everyone involved, make authentic relationships, and help things run as smoothly as possible. We want the experience for each of our athletes to be a great one, one where they feel involved and included. The competition within these games can be intense and means a lot to everyone involved. I'm proud of my class as we are now certified Special Olympic coaches.
- Gillian and Abby

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