Today, children with special needs got to celebrate the season.
From horseback riding to wagon rides, to classic carnival games, the day is all about allowing the kids to be kids.
“They don’t need to sit in classrooms all day. Our kids deserve as much as any other child does,” Founder of the day, Jo Cross, said.
Tracy Sullivan is no stranger to the Fall Fun Day.
Sullivan is a Special Education Teacher in Chickasaw County. She’s attended the event for the last 22 years. Sullivan said the festival is the highlight of the year for the kids.
“The kids look forward to it. This is hands-on, it’s fun, they get to run, they get to explore everything. It’s just excitement. that bus is buzzing and they can’t wait to get off,” Sullivan said.
Jo Cross is the founder of Frankie’s 4-H Fall Fun and Games Day. Her son, 34-year-old Frankie Cross, has cerebral palsy.
And she said she founded the event to allow kids, like her son, to experience hall like everyone else.
“They don’t normally get to, even if they get to participate in a regular fall festival, they’re pushed to the back of the line because kids can walk faster than they do they’re not in wheelchairs so they can walk and run faster than these kids. These kids need to know that when they come in this building, they’re all the same. Nobody is better,” Cross said.
And Sullivan said that’s just what this day does.
“In school, we focus on everything and we’re in a routine, daily. I mean we do the exact same thing every day. Here, they get to just be themselves, get out, and have a good time,” Sullivan said.
Cross and Sullivan said the kids look forward to coming to this event every single year. And each year, they make sure the event gets better and better.
“It melts my heart I promise you. To see the joy in these kids’ eyes when they get off the school bus and know, they don’t have nothing to worry about that day, they got it. That’s what matters to me,” Cross said.
“They get to be special too, they get to go on field trips like everybody else. They’re treated normal,” Sullivan said.
Schools from all over Chickasaw county were invited and close to 60 kids walked away with a bag full of prizes.