Third Annual Dragon Games on May 18

Story by Rylee Robinson

On Thursday, May 18, the third annual Dragon Games will take over the Johnston Stadium, providing students with disabilities the opportunity to showcase their talent and skills on the field.

Dragon Games is for all students in the special education programs ranging from elementary to high school. The games and activities will be sensory oriented such as face painting, bubbles, a soccer kick, bowling, an obstacle course, and much more.

The goal is to let students participate in a field day that caters to their needs, while promoting peer and social interaction, and activity. Johnston students from other buildings have volunteered to work the stations and help students play the games.

“Dragon Games gives students with disabilities a chance to participate and shine,” said Carol Dresher, a special education severe and profound teacher at JMS. “They get to be with their peers and have people cheer them on.”

Two ninth grade ELP (Extended Learning Program) students, Erin Anderson and Taylor Timmerman have started a fundraiser for an adaptive wheelchair bike that will be at the Dragon Games.  The idea came from an assigned class project and their passion for working with special education students. They have been raising money through community outreach, t-shirts, and other donations.

“This will give students an opportunity that they wouldn’t be able to have otherwise,” said Dresher. “I know the students are very excited to have an adaptive bike again this year, and hopefully raise enough money so we can get our own.”

This will be the third year for the Dragon Games. Previously, students attended a similar event hosted at Simpson College.The trip to Simpson College was too long for many students. Due to this dilemma, Nicole Beer, the Johnston Middle School P.E. teacher, and Dresher decided to propose the idea of hosting our own event. Over the three years, Dragon Games has grown tremendously and now has been extended to include all Johnston special education classes.

“We were trying to test it out the first couple years to see how it would go,” said Dresher. “Each year it keeps growing, so now we are glad to invite all the students in the school district. It will be a fun event that all students will value and enjoy.”