It was a day of play for high school students at Garces and the special needs students that attended their school today. There were about 1000 students participating in dozens of actives at Garces Memorial High today. All to give back to the special needs community.
It’s been an annual tradition for 25 years at Garces. 300 special needs students from the Kern County Superintendent’s Office and the Bakersfield City School District were paired up with Garces students for a day of play. Something senior Mckenzie Miller was happy to take part in. “To help kids who don’t have the same opportunities that we have, and to show them what it’s like to just have some fun and be a kid for a day,” said Miller.
Special needs students could ride a pony, drive a police car or motorcycle, explore a fire truck or even play some backyard games. For senior Jack Tobias, this was his fourth year participating and was a day he looked forward to. “It’s kinda just giving back ‘cause we’re blessed to not have really disabilities or anything, it’s kinda just giving back to the community and putting a smile on someone’s face,” said Tobias.
Garces students get paired up with a special needs student based on what class they are in. Certain classes at Garces are paired up with a specific school, and then students are assigned a buddy for a day. “Just seeing how happy we make the kids and it’s just not an average day for them, like it will make their year,” said Tobias. “I like seeing all the kids just have a good time and making an impact on their lives so that’s just my favorite part,” said Miller.
This was one day that all the students seem to show up for. “You could choose to stay home but I don’t know why you would, it’s such a great day,” said Miller. Students who participated said they would encourage other schools to hold events like this because they say the more students they can impact the better.