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Easton Elementary Exceptional Unified Sports Holds Successful Winter Bowling Season

It started with a social media post made by a parent of a special needs student, expressing how wonderful it would be for her son to have a chance to participate in sports like his older brother.  After seeing the post, Easton Elementary School (EES) teachers Abbie Keswick (Physical Education), Anne Miller (Special Education), and Terri Sutphin (Special Education) were moved to try to make this happen for their students.

Keswick, Miller, and Sutphin wrote and submitted a grant to the TCPS Education Foundation to purchase the equipment needed to launch the program. They outlined the purpose of EES Exceptional Unified Sports (EUS), which enables children with significant special needs to participate in organized sports with high school “Helpers” and learn how to follow directions and work as a team while being safe and fun.

EES EUS held its first Fall kickball season in the 2021-2022 school year. There were 17 Special Needs participants and about 20 Easton High School “Helpers.”  That same year, basketball at the EES gym was the winter sport.  Shirts for the athletes and helpers were purchased from the Benedictine School imprinted with logo, and EES EUS sponsors and numbers.

The Education Foundation featured the EES EUS program at Mission Possible, their annual fundraising event, in the Fall of 2022.  Donors enthusiastically supported the project, and EES EUS received additional funds over and above their original grant request. During the 2022-2023 school year, the students were introduced to soccer in the Fall and Bowling at Easton Bowling Center in the Winter.

“Our goal is to help children become more independent, be safe, have fun, and learn how to participate in an organized team sport while working on specific gross motor skills,” Anne Miller explains.  “They also gain social skills, like waiting and turn-taking.  None of this would be possible without the support of our community partners.”

“Support from the TCPS Education Foundation covered the cost of the soccer, kickball, and T-Ball equipment, as well as an outdoor shed to store equipment and shirts and sweatshirts for the athletes,” Miller adds.  “Athletes have also been presented with trophies and medals after each season.”

Family Affair Farm holds a Fall Festival to benefit local organizations each year. For the 2023-2024 school year, EES EUS has added T-Ball for the Fall and continued Bowling in the Winter. A Family Affair, Farm Festival donation, helped fund this year’s bowling at no cost to participating families.  The program was also sponsored by Midshore Veterinary Service and Anne Arundel Veterinary Emergency Clinic.

“We will have an ongoing need for shirts and sweatshirts for our athletes and high school helpers, as well as the cost for bowling and any replacement for equipment for the other sports. We are hoping to build more community partnerships to support this program.”

Members of the community wishing to support Easton Elementary School Unified Sports may do so by donating to the TCPS Education Foundation at Mid-Shore Community Foundation or by contacting Ms. Anne Miller at Easton Elementary School at or (410)822-0686.