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Students gather at CR Anderson Middle School for Respect Rally

HELENA — Special Olympians shared a special message with students at Helena’s CR Anderson Middle School on Wednesday.

It was part of a “Respect Rally” put together by Tara Patterson, a seventh- and eighth-grade teacher and Special Olympics Montana volunteer.

“By signing the banner, the students know they are signing to pledge respect for all people of all abilities; to choose to include these really special individuals,” Patterson stated.

Students gathered around the cafeteria during lunch to sign their names to the banner and pledge respect to those of all abilities.

Wyatt Smith, a student volunteer at CR Anderson Middle School said, “My Dad has a sister that has special needs and she was in Special Olympics, and I actually got a form from Mrs. Patterson, saying that I could volunteer, so I volunteer as often as I can with these kinds of things.”

Faculty and staff encourage and support these rallies to unite students and promote acceptance within the community.

Teresa Raynor, a Special Olympics Champion and faculty member at CR Anderson shared her thoughts on how special the rally was to her. “Everybody to just be nice and respectful to everybody.”

Special Olympics Montana is based out of Great Falls and has been aiding those with disabilities since 1970.

-Reported by Christine Sullivan/MTN News

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