Students with special needs enjoy annual Fall Fling

ALABASTER – Students with special needs from the Shelby County and Alabaster city school systems were able to enjoy an educational day at Veterans Park in Alabaster during the 11th annual Fall Fling on Friday, Oct. 20.

“We love partnering with our schools, and it’s a great opportunity for our kids to have fun in the park,” city of Alabaster Therapeutic Recreation Manager Alicia Walters said.

The Fall Fling was hosted by the city of Alabaster and 150 elementary school students were selected to participate.

“I worked with the (schools’) adaptive PE teachers to help identify the 150 kids who get to enjoy this fun day,” Walters said.

According to Walters, students at this Fall Fling spent the day going through seven different stations where they enjoyed frozen treats from Kona Ice, got their faces painted, blew bubbles, participated in a drum circle, made crafts, fished and played carnival games.

Walters said the Fall Fling offered students with disabilities a break from their regular routines and an opportunity to learn something new in a different setting.

“It’s a great opportunity to have an experience outside of the classroom, where they may be learning a new activity while enjoying the outdoors,” Walters said.

Meadow View Elementary School first grader Noah Humpherys said he usually goes to the park, but was excited to be participating in all of the Fall Fling’s activities.

“My parents let me go all the time,” Noah said. “We’re playing the bongos. They just blew up the jumpy houses.”

Noah’s mother, Cheryl Humpherys, said the Fall Fling gave her son and other students the chance to interact and develop social skills.

“They’re learning how to be out with friends while experiencing the stations out here,” Humpherys said. “It brings them together as a community and they’re experiencing things that they might not experience in the real world.”

“As a parent, I’m grateful that they think enough of our kids to provide this,” Humpherys continued.

Walters thanked the Fall Fling’s many sponsors for their help in making the event a success. The sponsors include the Alabaster Arts Council, the Angel Warriors Foundation, Brooklere Pharmacy, State Sen. Cam Ward, Chubbfather’s, E and J Tours, K and J’s Elegant Pastries, Kona Ice, Paul’s Diamond Center, United Logo and Vic Smith CPA P.C.

“They helped make this event possible,” Walters said.