Special Olympics Young Athletes Program at Crossroads!

May 19, 2020
5.19.2020 We are looking for several parents to help us to carry out Young Athletes at home for 8 weeks.

This is a call for help from any of our parents of kids in our program to engage in some wonderful YoungAthletes videos that have been published recently by our friends at Special Olympics NY! We are seeking a handful of parents to do one or 2 activities from the series per week, and provide some simple information to be shared with our Special Olympics partners. This would help us to qualify for another year of grant appropriation from them allowing us to continue to expand our Physical Education and fitness equipment for the kids. Just scroll down to see some of the impact this program has had for us this year. Please click the link and check out some of the videos, and get in touch with VickiR@Crossroadcenter.org if you think you could help. Thank you so much.

5.12.2020 We’re thrilled to share that our friends at Special Olympics have created a series of videos that are short and fun and geared to give kids the exercise they need while learning at home!

From the Young Athletes page, here are some wonderful sessions to do at home with children of all abilities!  https://www.specialolympics-ny.org/community/young-athletes/

Foundational Skills

Have fun! Let us know how you’re doing and what your child likes best!

4.29.2020 Special Olympics has launched their video series for conducting physical education activities at home.

Crossroads has been partnering with Special Olympics New York for over a year now. We are proud to share these resources with our audience, and are hoping to be part of this remote series of videos that are to come.



Young Athletes At Home is here! These free resources will help children improve their mental and physical development while also teaching the value of inclusion. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2ySKaCk.

Posted by Special Olympics NY on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Physical Fitness has never been more fun!

Scroll to see some of our Physical Education activities at Crossroads through our partnership with Special Olympics.


3.12.2020 Balance is the key to a happy life (and gym class).

We’re so lucky to have the awesome supplies and curriculum from Special Olympics Young Athletes at Crossroads this year. Here, we have some activity pictures from Room 6 to share. Students have physical education / fitness time every day, but of course we don’t always have an opportunity to capture images of everything. Thanks so much to Mrs. Jennifer, the Special Education teacher in Room 6, for sharing pictures of her students as they recently worked on balance skills in one of the pictured lessons, and basketball skills in another. Classmates enjoy the materials and activities very much, she relates.

We’re so thankful to Special Olympics for the awesome materials, and to LifeSong for putting together the new hoops!

2.21.2020 Crossroads is very thankful to our friends at Special Olympics for the donation of 3 brand new Mattel preschool basketball hoops for our students. We will have a lot of fitness fun shooting hoops in the coming months.


The Special Olympics team from our Albany area and from Washington DC are to be thanked for all that they do to support our school!

We are looking for a handy volunteer to put the hoops together for us! If you are interested, please call Vicki at 518-280-0083 ext. 126. Thanks! All that is needed is a Phillips screwdriver.

2.3.20 Bowling us over!

Room 8 recently contributed the post below to describe the fun they are having with the new Special Olympics materials. Thank you to Ms. Shannon for writing this, as well as for sending pictures to put up!

Our Class has enjoyed playing:

  • Bowling: Bowling is a huge hit in our room. Many students enjoy throwing the ball and many students are working on goals such as waiting for a turn which is great for bowling. We play bowling in the hallway. Each student sits against the wall then one student is called to roll the ball while the other students are cheering them on. This game has taught our children to wait for a turn and to cheer for others. We have also played three pin bowling which our children enjoy due to the fact that we use different color cones for them to throw a ball at.
  • Target Practice: Our children have really enjoyed “Target Practice.” They enjoy throwing the bean bag at the wall and they try to hit a piece of paper that is higher than the last target. This has been great for students with ID Shape goals due to the fact that we tape different shapes onto the wall and then yell out a shape for the child to throw their bean bag to.
  • Kick Ball or Run the Bases: Is a huge hit in our room! All of our children enjoy kicking the ball then running to the different colored cones. The cones help students with ID Color goals due to the fact that we will yell out different colors for the students to run to.

Our classroom has really enjoyed the materials and the different activities that are now available to us through Special Olympics.

1.14.20 Magic Carpet Ride 

Motor skills, team-building skills, and a whole lot of fun was had in Room 12 recently, when they did the Magic Carpet Ride activity from the Special Olympics Young Athletes curriculum.

Each student had turns to sit on a blanket, grasping the edges, and going on a magic carpet ride around the room. They had a chance to experience fast and slow, round paths and wiggly ones. One student also gave a ride to his stuffed animal. Some of the students also were able to be pullers, with some help. Much laughter was heard throughout this activity!

12.12.19 Spot Dash 

Combining speedy movements with shape and color recognition, Room 5 had a blast with this activity. Students were required to use attending skills throughout the game, in addition to social skills such as group cooperation and good sportsmanship.

Each student was given their own spot at the get-go of the game. Then, when Ms. Rebecca called for it, they all had to run to find a spot that was a stated color, or had a certain shape on it. There was only one student allowed on a spot at each turn, however there were enough spots for everyone, so if someone got beat out to the spot, they just had to keep looking.

11.25.19 I Spy With My Little Eye

A Special Olympics brain-break activity in Room 14 today was a chance to work on attending skills and physical education skills at the same time. Students were asked to listen for their name called by Ms. Lindsay, and then to move in a requested manner to get a specific size and color bean bag, and deposit into a container.

So, during “Z’s” turns, he got to bear walk, log roll and crab walk to get a little purple, a big green and a little yellow bean bag. “N” got to twirl, jump and stand on one foot then the other to find the big blue, little red and big purple ones.

The students did a great job and were able to show off their superstar skills to visitors, Ryan Miller and Jennifer Frame from Special Olympics!

Parents, are YOU seeing any of the benefits of our fitness programming since we’ve started using the Special Olympics materials and curriculum this year? We’d love to hear your feedback! Please comment below!

11.13.19 Dribble & Score!

Room 11 is making some great gains with their soccer skills! Learning to dribble between the cones, trap the ball, give controlled kicks, and kick to a goal… these are some of the tasks being worked on here. The best part? Practicing teamwork! Nice work, Room 11!


10.25.19 A Balancing Act!

One of the lessons in our new Special Olympics Young Athletes curriculum improves balance. The balance beams, though, are very different from what most of us think of. These are foam-filled and include Velcro, so that the teachers can set up the beams in a different path each time they use them.

The foam makes them a little squishy to the feet, so students really have to work their balancing senses as they walk. Don’t worry though – if someone “falls off” this balance beam it’s only a couple of inches and the child can get right back on!

Super cute lesson; thanks to Room 3 for the pictures!

We’re proud of our partnership with Special Olympics!

10.4.19 Well organized storage!

We’re finally organized in the gym. Many thanks to everyone who has helped with setting up. Looking good!

9.27.19 Ready for ACTION!

We have been super busy here getting ready to start our Special Olympics Young Athletes program! We’ve been putting together cabinets, organizing the materials, and wow are the kids excited to get going! And today, Ms. Melissa, Room 3’s Special Education teacher brought in THIS!
THIS is a unique, hand made BALL HOLDER! THIS innovation will help teachers to easily find the exact ball that they want for their activity, and facilitate a quick and simple cleanup process for the students at the end of their gym slot.  Melissa designed it and built it herself! 

Additionally, some of the classrooms are already done with their assessments for Special Olympics. Each class has a skill set to measure, so we’ll be able to measure growth later in the year. When we share our data with Special Olympics, they will be able to see how well the curriculum is working. Our parents will also be able to see the gains that our students make by using the Special Olympics program. 

Look soon for pictures of the classrooms engaging in the activities, too! 

Go here for Young Athletes activities.


8.27.19 Guess what came in today? 

It’s really exciting when a delivery comes for you, and we have just gotten a BIG delivery of the materials for our Special Olympics Young Athletes program

It’s still in boxes, until the cabinet comes for proper storage. We’ll have everything set up in the gym and teachers will have what they need to implement an awesome new Physical Education curriculum here. Read below to learn more about the Young Athletes program at Crossroads! 

Stay tuned for how it’s going!

8.1.19  Being an athlete has never been more exciting!

We’re happy to announce that we are partnering with Special Olympics for the 2019-20 school year!

After several months of meeting, planning and training, we will be ready in September to implement the Special OlympicsYoung Athletes Program at Crossroads.

Why we chose to implement this opportunity:

  • The curriculum aligns well with Crossroad’s mission of preparing students for success in their lives, and gives staff wonderful, adapted PE materials and activities to do with students.
  • It ties in with our mission of helping kids be successful – and fit and healthy – in life.
  • This partnership with S.O. will benefit our students and families now and in the future, giving them an important connection and resource as they transition away from Crossroads.
  • The curriculum is full of great adapted sports and physical activities, and following it will give teachers a plan for gym that is researched and easy to implement. Activities can be picked and chosen, shortened and lengthened, and they are created with kids like ours in mind.
  • Partnerships with other respected organizations increases our credibility and public perception as an organization and school.
  • When we complete the training portion, we will be able to get the full kit of materials to use for PE/gym classes, and next spring, we will also get tee-shirts for our students to wear for a culminating activity.
  • The training provides valuable preparation for leading physical education activities with our students.
  • Extensive research showing benefits to children who participate, to families and to peers.
  • It is cost-free for us!

We are thankful to Ryan Miller at Special Olympics New York for his patience and help throughout this process! 

Please come back! We’ll update this post to share how it’s going!
Thank you Berkshire Bank!Learning at Home Success