Special Survivor Games

Not all games are created equal, but for these students, it’s exactly what they need.

Peterson Elementary School hosted the 4th annual Special Survivor Games created by 14-year-old Marissa Kucharski.

These games provide an opportunity for students with special needs to participate in relay style games along with their peers.

For Kucharski, this was an opportunity inspired by friendship.

“My friend Sean Chapel has severe Autism and he can’t normally regulate his body temperature. So every year my mom runs survivor games in her backyard and I was upset that he couldn’t participate because the temperatures were so hot.”

“So I wanted to do some kind of survivor games so that he could come in with all his friends and they would be able to do everything me and my friends could do.”

The games are adapted for kids with various needs and implement life skills through group challenges.

“It’s just really great social skills, communication skills, turn taking, and waiting. They learn so many different things they can work on during the Survivor Games,” said Kari Saunders, a special education teacher at Peterson Elementary.

They hope to continue expanding Special Survivor Games throughout District 204.


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