East Unified Teams dazzle Montana Tech Crowd
For the better part of the night, it was the Orediggers vs. the Argos in a couple of key Frontier Conference games Thursday night at Kelvin Sampson Court, but at least for a couple of minutes it was the Eagles vs. the Wildcats. Some of Butte's differently abled athletes from East Middle School were able to show their stuff in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd in a pair of spirited scrimmages played at the halftimes of the Tech men's and women's games.
Kelci Thatcher is one of the educators who runs the Unified Program at East, and she says it came to fruition about 4 years ago through the Special Olympics of Montana. "We took it and ran with it, and we are really just trying to get these kids full sports seasons," Thatcher said, adding "we give them a full basketball season and a full track season, and we integrate some social activities with the general education students. It has been great. It's great for all of us."
Thatcher says that the Unified students have been welcomed by the others and it is something special to see. "It's so good to see the general-ed students and how empathetic and good they are," she told us. "I think it puts life into perspective, to be quite honest."
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Gallery Credit: Chad Childers, Loudwire