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Troy students raise money for track, Special Olympics team honored, more

5/18/2015, 9:23 p.m.
This roundup of news was provided by Troy School District 30C.
Troy Craughwell students (from left) Cooper Bartz, William Ogrizovich, Zachary Taylor, Max Racutt and Luke and Zach Pekol pose with Principal Kathy Barker at the site where a circuit track will be installed. Courtesy of Troy School District 30C

Troy School District 30C, with schools in Joliet and Shorewood, provided this roundup of news:

Troy Crossroads Elementary School preschool student Kendall Holverson swings a bat at the Young Athletes Culmination Event, with Lily McNeela (left), 3rd grade, and Josie Jarmuz (right), 4th grade, assisting.

Courtesy of Troy School District 30C

Troy Crossroads Elementary School preschool student Kendall Holverson swings a bat at the Young Athletes Culmination Event, with Lily McNeela (left), 3rd grade, and Josie Jarmuz (right), 4th grade, assisting.

Troy Crossroads to expand young athletes program

Twelve classes of Early Childhood students ages 3-5 enjoyed the season’s first summer-like day this month by running and jumping and throwing bean bags in the grassy spaces behind Troy Crossroads Elementary School. It wasn’t recess, though.

It was the first Young Athletes Culmination Event held by Troy School District 30C in a program piloted at Crossroads. Young Athletes is a branch of Special Olympics for special needs and at-risk students too young to participate in Special Olympics sporting events.

“We piloted it this first year with our Early Childhood students,” said Andrea Leverso West, Crossroads’ Young Athletes Program Director, “and next year, we will expand the program to include kindergarten through second grade.”

The students in the Young Athletes program spent 8 weeks this spring working in the school’s gymnasium on such gross motor skills as balance, throwing, kicking, and running to prepare for the final event on May 6. The event was held outdoors and consisted of a circuit of various activities aided by the older ACE students. Parents and family attended to celebrate their children.

Troy Craughwell students to raise money for track

Students at the K-4 Troy Craughwell Elementary School get the opportunity each year to join the Mileage Club. If they walk a total of 26.2 miles in the gym or on the playground during one school year, they are entered into the Mileage Hall of Fame and get their pictures posted on the gym wall.

The problem, however, is the grassy area of the playground where they walk.

“It gets wet,” fourth grader Luke Pekol said, “and you can slip and fall when you’re walking on it.”

So Luke, along with fellow third and fourth grade students Cooper Bartz, Zach Pekol, William Ogrizovich, Max Racutt and Zachary Taylor, led the effort begun two years ago to get a circuit track at the playground behind Craughwell.

The result was, “The 2015 Boosterthon Fun Run,” a school-community fundraiser where the community pledged dollars for the number of laps Craughwell students could walk in the gym on the event day.

Principal Kathy Barker said they raised more than $14,000 through the fundraiser, which also included a door-decorating contest, team huddles, prizes and a kick-off assembly.

Barker said Phase 1 of the project will consist of laying the track along the periphery of the playground. She is hopeful it can be done this summer. More fundraising will be needed for Phase 2, which will involve installing various circuit apparatus at stops along the track.

Photo, from left: Kim Rothstein, Head Coach; Lawson Sizemore, Athlete; Erin Shroeder, Coach; Nicolle Andersen, Coach; Cami Bryant, Athlete; Kristen Grawbowski, Coach.

Head coach Kim Rothstein, athlete Lawson Sizemore, coach Erin Shroeder, coach Nicolle Andersen, athlete Cami Bryant and coach Kristen Grawbowski.

Courtesy of Troy School District 30C

Head coach Kim Rothstein, athlete Lawson Sizemore, coach Erin Shroeder, coach Nicolle Andersen, athlete Cami Bryant and coach Kristen Grawbowski.

Troy Special Olympics students earn 'Team of Year'

Special Olympics students at Troy School District 30C were named “Team of the Year” at the 2015 Special Olympics Illinois Spring Games held May 2 in South Holland, IL.

About 810 participants in the competition this year, according to Special Olympics Illinois. The games were the annual sectional series of Area 7, which comprises all of Will County and parts of Cook County. Troy’s Special Olympics Athletic Director and Head Coach Kim Rothstein said the award is given to the team that has best incorporated new plans and ideas into its program.

Troy’s Special Olympics program has grown by literal leaps and bounds since Rothstein began it at the district’s seven schools in 2008, and this year, it added the Young Athletes branch of Special Olympics that allows children ages 2-7 to compete. Also new to the program this year is the inclusion of William B. Orenic Intermediate School’s LEAD Club students as volunteer coaches.

Bringing home gold medals from Troy schools were Adam Arias, 8th grade, for softball throw; Kaytia Jones, 5th grade, for 100-m run; Cami Bryant, 8th grade, for softball throw; Hanah Smith, 8th grade, for softball throw; Justin Orta, 4th grade, for the 100-m run and softball throw; Lawson Sizemore, 6th grade, for motorized 50-m slalom and tennis ball throw; Mark Harrelson, 5th grade, for 100-m run; and Seren Jenkins, 4th grade, for 100-m run and softball throw.

Other Troy Special Olympic athletes who competed at the event were Sarah Schutter, Caroline Collins, Carly Ruddy, Jonah Gonda, Henry Bilus, Lilly Jameson, Zoe Barnes, Ashley Castillo and Layla Mozaffarzadeh.

The Special Olympians were from Troy Crossroads Elementary and Troy Craughwell Elementary Schools, William B. Orenic Intermediate School and Troy Middle School.