Cayce Elementary students, teachers, and staff came together Thursday for the school’s third Unified Day. As a Unified Champion School through Special Olympics South Carolina, Cayce Elementary’s goal is to provide an opportunity for students with and without disabilities the chance to build confidence, self-esteem, resilience, sportsmanship, and awareness for others.
“Unified Day at Cayce Elementary is a special event, where students come together to compete in sports and have fun,” said Assistant Principal Ashley Caulder, who coordinates the annual event. “Cayce Elementary is a Unified Champion school through Special Olympics South Carolina. We strive to be an inclusive school and demonstrate kindness through our words and actions.”
The event kicked off with a parade of athletes, followed by opening ceremonies. Among the many activities were football, volleyball, and basketball. Members of the Brookland-Cayce High School varsity cheer team, some University of South Carolina athletes, and Tyler Thigpen, a former NFL quarterback with the Kansas City Chiefs, were among volunteers with the event, while Alex Lewis/Blackbridge Financial donated Chick-fil-A sandwiches to feed athletes, partners, and volunteers.
“This annual event always brings an extra layer of joy to Cayce for our students, staff, and community,” Caulder added. “One of the many things I love about working to put this event on is the group work that goes into it. Everyone comes together and works hard for the students. I am so proud to be a part of this event and Cayce Elementary School.”
Photo captions: Former NFL quarterback Tyler Thigpen works with students on throwing the football; Varsity cheerleaders with Brookland-Cayce High School cheer a Cayce Elementary student; Students run during one of the activities[ USC beach volleyball athlete Jillian Gleason gives some volleyball tips to Cayce Elementary students; University of South Carolina equestrian Kiersten Beckner