MADISON, NJ - Students at Madison Junior School participated in a letter-writing campaign during their Advisory class on Wednesday. All 548 students wrote letters by hand to participating Special Olympics athletes who will be coming to New Jersey to compete in 16 Olympic-type team and individual sports.

This year, during the week of June 14-21, New Jersey is hosting the Special Olympics, bringing
together athletes with disabilities and the community. More than 3,500 athletes and United Partners will compete in 16 Olympic-type team and individual sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and 70,000 family members, friends and spectators.

“At MJS, we take character education seriously and see it as an integral component of educating adolescents. When I found out about this opportunity, I realized it was a great activity to incorporate into our weekly Advisory classes,” said Principal Nicole Sherrin of Madison Junior School.

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During the 45-minute period, the students wrote a welcome letter to the athletes, encouraging them in their specific sporting event and recognizing and honoring their individual talents. Sixth-grade students wrote letters to athletes from Colorado and New York, seventh-grade students wrote to athletes from Florida, and the eighth-grade students wrote to athletes participating from Texas. Some of the visiting participants who will get letters are competing in basketball, swimming, bocce, bowling, softball, soccer, track & field, and other sports.

“It’s very little effort on the students’ part to make someone else feel good about their accomplishments in being able to compete in these games,” said one teacher at MJS. 

As part of the Advisory program, the entire school broke into small groups to discuss topics and activities including character education, such as teamwork and problem solving.