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LJISD Special Olympics and FFA Join Forces for 1stEvent of its Kind 

Posted Date: 02/11/2019

LJISD Special Olympics and FFA Join Forces for 1stEvent of its Kind 


La Joya ISD has been providing Motor Skills Activities Training Events for the last nine years in a partnership with Special Olympics.  The Special Olympics MATP events are held in December and the students receive a medal for their participation.   

For some time now, Mr. Lauro Garza, Special Olympics Director, had been looking for a school district who was willing to have their students participate in a unified sports event.  Aaron Garza, adaptive P.E. coach for LJ Juarez-Lincoln High School approached Mr. Ruben Canales, the FFA teacher about the possible partnership.  Mr. Canales immediately committed to the initiation of this unified event for our students at LJ Juarez-Lincoln HS. This would be an opportunity for the FFA and special education students to practice the skills of showing an animal, and to promote the spirit of friendship and community in a unified sport. 

To prepare for the event, the Special Olympic participants from LJ Juarez-Lincoln HS went to the barn regularly to view and help groom the animals. They practiced showing the animals in the arena along with the FFA students.   

On February 7, students from Juarez-Lincoln High School participated in the first ever FFA Unified Livestock show in the Rio Grande Valley.  This event was made possible because of the coordinated efforts of the Special Education, Career & Technology, and Athletics Departments.  Mr. Ricardo Estrada, principal at LJ Juarez-Lincoln High School was very proud of his students for their participation in the unified event.

The students showed lambs and hogs to the enthusiastic crowd of students, parents and community leaders that cheered them on.  

Thank you to Ruben Canales (FFA Teacher at LJ Juarez-Lincoln High School), our judge and master of ceremonies, Aroldo Solis (FFA teacher at LJ Palmview High School), and Adaptive PE coaches –Aaron Garza, Mario Flores and Ismael Mendoza.  Thank you, parents and community members that were present at the Unified Livestock Show.  Lauro Garza, Director for Special Olympics was present at the event and provided the unified games medals to all the participants.  A huge congratulation goes out to all our participants!  We look forward to many more Unified Livestock Shows at La Joya ISD!