Community events have a positive impact on children

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Earlier this week, the Rotary Club of Picayune held its annual Fishing Rodeo for special needs children attending the Picayune School District.

Nearly 100 children attending classes from elementary to high school gathered at a large pond, poles in hand, ready to catch some fish. Dozens of volunteers, including members of the Pearl River Community College’s football team, attended the event to help students bait their hooks, cast lines and reel in their catch. As they interacted with volunteers, talked with friends and ran under the sun, each child had a smile on their face. Near the end of the event, freshly grilled hamburgers and hotdogs were served, ending the event on a high note.

Lisa Grice-Beck, who helped coordinate the event, said the students were looking forward to the rodeo for weeks, and had been asking every day when it would be time to go.

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According to an article by the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, “There are 11.2 million children with special health care needs in the United States or one in five households caring for special needs child.”

The article states that the number of children requiring special care is increasing. As this number grows, there will be a greater need in the community to provide creative and social outlets for these children.

According to the Autism Speaks website, participating in community activities, local clubs and sporting events helps children boost their self-esteem, raises their happiness level, and overall improves their quality of life.

Having the opportunity to participate in events such as the Fishing Rodeo allows these children to get outside, socialize and participate in something they might otherwise never have tried. More should be done in addition to this event to give students the ability to get out and enjoy their lives to the fullest.