Kamiak students and staff are preparing for a fun day of activity and inclusivity at the seventh annual UKnight for Special Olympics 5K Fun Run/Walk.
The event raises funds for Kamiak’s special education program and Unified Sports teams as well as Special Olympics for Snohomish County.
This year’s fun run/walk will be from 9-11 a.m., Saturday, April 27 on the Kamiak track.
Senior Heidi Baird is organizing the event with fellow co-leaders Malia Thatcher and Megan Yniguez.
“It is a great day for the community to come together on a day and have a day for everyone to enjoy each other’s company and meet new people,” she said.
A number of local companies are helping fund the event.
“We have a lot of sponsors this year including the Seahawks, Electroimpact and other small Mukilteo companies which help us make water, snacks and prices for T-shirts go down,” Baird said.
“The majority of funds go to what special ed program needs for next year. A lot of money goes to jerseys and Special Olympics sports at Kamiak,” she added. “Some of that money (from the 5K) also goes to the district (for Special Olympics).”
Kamiak’s special education program is something that the whole student body is proud of, Baird said.
“Including all children in special ed is important at our school,” she said. “Our school has the ability to put a spotlight on the students.”
This year’s T-shirt design was made by Kamiak student Myron Swimmer, and shows the community impact of Unified Sports at Kamiak.
“We have a big special ed program here, and we make it a point to let the kids in that program know that they’re important – no matter what their ability is,” Baird said.
The Kamiak senior was drawn to the special education program at her school through a peer mentoring class. Baird said she felt a connection with the students while helping and interacting with them, and being with them as one of their peers.
“Some of the teachers really go above and beyond everything they do to make the program inclusive,” she said.
One of those teachers is Georgia McClaskey, who runs all the Unified Sports programming at Kamiak. McClaskey is a special education teacher, who has been at the school for five years.
“Our Unified programs have grown so much,” McClaskey said. “This race brings more people to be involved.
“The race isn’t about the money for me. It’s about people in our community getting to see firsthand how we work together and to be a part of something.”
Participants can register for the 5K by filling out a registration form and mailing it to 10801 Harbour Pointe Blvd, Mukilteo, WA 98275, or turning it in to Kamiak Bookkeeping Office.
Baird said there are many opportunities to volunteer at this event including directing and cheering participants on, running the registration stand, timers, finish line and handing out water and snacks.
Volunteers do not pay the fee to participate and can email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested or go to the Kamiak High School main office and turn in a registration form there.