BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Children with special needs spent Friday, March 5 playing with students at Garces Memorial High School as part of an annual Garces tradition called, Day of Play.
“It’s just a great day for special needs kids to come and have a great time and buddy up with some of our garces students and just really enjoy themselves,” said Eileen Perez, the Director of Campus Ministry at Garces.
Kids are paired up with a high school “buddy”, spending time connecting with one another—something Garces students say means as much to them as it does to the children.
“Having a little kid by my side and holding their hand through everything and making sure that they’re having fun helps me grow up a little bit.” said senior, Haley Martin, Garces Student Body President.
Not only do Garces students play hard but they work hard with the event aiming to show that individuals with special needs are just like everyone else.
“We had a presentation given to them to help them to identify needs of special needs children that are on campus to make sure that our kids are safe while they’re here and able to have fun.” said Perez.
At the end of the day of play, students say it’s all about bringing joy to a child.
"Nothing compares to seeing the satisfaction in their smiles,” said Martin.