Supporting Special Olympics


Student Council members who volunteered at Special Olympics after their long day of helping.

Ashlyn Harris, Staff Writer

On Thursday, April 20, 2023, over 20 members of Carterville Student Council joined numerous other schools in volunteering to help run and work the 2023 Special Olympics at Herrin High School’s football field. The students were accompanied by first year student council sponsors, Mrs. Emrick and Mr. Coleman. Mr. Coleman said, “I knew that it would be a meaningful experience, however, I never expected to be as moved by the experience that I was. The athletes were amazing and inspirational. Everyone was cheering for each other and building each other up. There were good humans to be seen and to meet all day and I am so glad CHS got to be a part of it.” 

During the Olympics, students got to help with all of the different events being held. Some helped at the running and walking events, while others helped with shot put and long jump. Students also helped with other jobs like signing in athletes, working the souvenirs table, and taking athletes from their events to get their awards. All of the athletes that competed at the events got sent home with a ribbon and some even left with metals hanging around their necks. 

CHS students arrived at the games in the morning and spent the whole day there helping and interacting with the athletes along with cheering them on. Numerous athletes were Carterville students from the high school and the intermediate school. They enjoyed being cheered on and supported by their own school. Senior, Natalie Vanderzille said, “It was fun being able to cheer on students I see everyday in the halls and even more rewarding to help and watch them succeed in something that means so much to them.” 

The day was full of cheer and was a rewarding experience for students who helped make the day go as smoothly as possible for these athletes and their families. Junior, Jaycie Johnson said, “The atmosphere was amazing, the tons of volunteers showed athletes they are supported just by being there. The day also broke down divisions and stereotypes, everyone was just there to make it the best day possible.” 

The athletes were paraded out in the morning by the whole student body and the drum line. They were also welcomed back after their long day of competing. The Special Olympics are held annually and it is something that many people look forward to all year long, including the athletes.