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"All-Star Miracle Days" held at Miracle League diamond in Amherstburg

Miracle League players heading to the pitch

The special education department with the Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB) staged its own Miracle League games in Amherstburg.

The third and final day for an “All-Star Miracle Day” was last Monday with the first two days being May 27-28. All games were played on the Miracle League of Amherstburg’s diamond at the Libro Centre.

“It’s our GAINS and STEPS classrooms,” said Bianca Rota, one of the GECDSB staff members helping to present the event.

GAINS stands for “Giving Attention to Individual Needs” and is geared for exceptional students identified as having a developmental disability, autism or Multiple Exceptionality through the Identification, Placement and Review Committee process (1.P.R.C.) and who meet other criteria as specified by the GECDSB. STEPS (Skills to Enhance Personal Success) is geared for students who need courses, supports and experiences due to “complex learning and physical challenges” in secondary school.

Hundreds of students came to Amherstburg over the three days with leadership students from North Star High School also assisting. A similar program was also run at the Miracle diamond in the Riverside section of Windsor.

“We received funding from the Blue Jays Care Foundation for adapted physical education and Miracle League baseball,” Rota explained.

The funding from the Blue Jays Care Foundation also helped provide the leadership students at North Star and three other area high schools a chance to work with and support special needs students. There were 100 students per day that came to Amherstburg under the program from all across the public school board.

“They all get a turn on the Miracle League diamond,” she said.

In addition, there was Zumba and games held inside of the Libro Centre.

It was the first time the GECDSB held such a program but they hope to do more. Rota indicated it depends on funding.

“The Ontario Ministry of Education also provided funding for it to be able to pay for the buses and the lunch,” she stated.

In April, the leadership students participated in adaptive physical education training with Jays Care staff to be able to assist the students from GAINS and STEPS classrooms at the event, board spokesperson Scott Scantlebury said in a news release.

"All-Star Miracle Days" held at Miracle League diamond in Amherstburg

By Ron Giofu

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