Friday marked the 23rd annual Switzer Learning Center Special Olympics Day at Alta Loma Park in Torrance. It was a perfect spring day where volunteers from Torrance Refining Company, community members, family and friends gathered to help kick off the one-day event which included Olympic-style competitive activities.
The Annual Switzer Olympics Day returned from a 3-year hiatus, due to the pandemic. This year, the culminating event was an opportunity for all age groups, diploma-track and alternative curriculum students, to socialize and build connections in an open environment not able to be experienced on campus.
“This is an off-campus event that incorporates students of all learning abilities to exercise and practice their social skills. The Olympics Day event encourages community togetherness, healthy competition and engages students who don’t often participate in physical, outdoor activities,” said Telpher Youman, Dean of Students at Switzer Learning Center.
Each Olympics Day station was set up so groups of students could experience and participate at their own pace. Events included the long run, arm hang, free throw, football throw, 40-yard dash, sit ups, trunk lift, and jump rope. Staff and volunteers were on hand to assist and encourage the students with each challenge. Many students needed support and encouragement to participate, but as the day progressed the increase in their self-confidence was evident.
The day ended with students and staff coming together to celebrate with a BBQ luncheon including fresh produce donated by The Children’s Community Center.
About Switzer Learning Center
Switzer Center is a nonprofit organization founded in 1966 with a mission of “Nurturing children, teens, and young adults of all abilities to believe, achieve, and thrive.” Switzer Learning Center’s 5th-12th grade, co-educational, nonpublic, special education school, and clinical services serve children, teens, and young adults with mild to severe learning, social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Students work with a highly trained team of credentialed special education teachers, licensed psychologists, licensed speech and language pathologists, art therapists, certified Crisis Prevention Intervention specialists, and other related service providers who are dedicated to help students achieve academic, vocational and personal goals unattainable in conventional educational settings. Learn more about Switzer Learning Center at www.switzercenter.org.