Little Feet Meet connects students with disabilities to their peers

More than 1,000 students are taking part in the meet in Henrico. (Source: NBC12)
More than 1,000 students are taking part in the meet in Henrico. (Source: NBC12)
Published: May. 1, 2018 at 4:47 PM EDT|Updated: May. 1, 2018 at 6:08 PM EDT
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - For the 10th year in a row, elementary students with disabilities are competing alongside their peers.

More than 1,000 Henrico County Public School students are participating in the "Little Feet Meet" at Tucker High School. The goal is to make everyone feel included.

The Little Feet Meet is just like any other track and field event, but this one connects students who may not regularly spend time together in class.

The meet gives students with disabilities - like 8 year old Claire, who has Down syndrome - the opportunity to foster friendships and gain mutual respect from their able-bodied peers.

"I hope that lets everyone know she is plenty capable of playing just like anyone else," Crystal Frankart, Claire's mom, said.

Click here to learn more about the Little Feet Meet

Claire, though, views this as any other meet. The only difference is Tuesday is her birthday.

"She doesn't know she has a disability. No one's told her and no one's going to get her down," Frankart said.

Her parents say events like these are priceless.

"... It's just very exciting that they put on something like this for these kids," Frankart said, holding back tears.

And the event serves as a relatable reminder to their classmates.

"It's that fear of missing out that leaves everyone sad and not feeling good," said Jared, a Tucker High School volunteer.

The students in yellow are paired with a buddy to tackle to obstacles. The students in green are volunteers from Henrico high schools.

The event is free and open to the public so the entire world can see what Claire's parents already know.

"She's just a kid like everybody else. She's just a kid. Wants the same things as everybody else - to play and be accepted and have fun," Frankart said.

There's another meet on Wednesday for middle and high school students at the Collegiate School.

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