Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Swamp Foxes teamed up with other schools in Dorchester District Two to put on a big annual event at Ashley Ridge High School on April 25.
The sixth annual Swampfest took over the stadium field at Ashley Ridge all day. Swampfest is a field event for students with severe special needs in DD2, hosted by the Ashley Ridge student body. Various student teams, clubs and organizations set up booths for activities such as arts and crafts and games.
Special needs students were teamed up with Ashley Ridge “buddies” who guided them from booth to booth to participate in the event.
Ashley Ridge junior Demi Barkley said the event is a way for the school to give back and help out students with special needs.
“They love it,” she said. “They smile all day – because they look forward to it.”
Ashley Ridge probability and statistics teacher Kim Emery said she loves seeing the visiting students get excited about the event.
“You can see the kids and how good of a time they’re having,” she said. “And as a teacher I love seeing my kids work with special needs students.”
All over the football field visiting students could be found painting, throwing Frisbees, kicking soccer balls, bowling, squirting water guns and pelting Ashley Ridge students with water balloons.
One booth had Ashley Ridge students pretending to be “ducks” while they moved around and had special needs students try to shoot them down with water guns.
There was a dunking booth and live entertainment by the host school. Seniors Maria Martinez and Kristyn Carlson have been buddies for the same special needs student for four years in a row – a student from Fort Dorchester Elementary School.
“He’s loving it,” Martinez said. “He’s having fun – it’s fun when you know them already.”
Carlson said she always loves being a part of Swampfest.
“There’s not many opportunities like this so I think they (the special needs kids) love it,” she said. “They’re limited to what they can do.”