Kool Kid ‘AG’ Stravaganza provides livestock show experience for South Plains special needs kids
PLAINVIEW, Texas (KCBD) - Special needs kids across the South Plains got to experience a day in the life of a stock show kid at the Kool Kid “AG” Stravaganza inside the Plainview Ollie Liner Center on Thursday.
“We just wanted to do it for our kids here, give these kids an opportunity to have a day as a stock show kid, just as many of us do that they don’t ever get to experience,” Berkley Carver, an Abernathy Junior, said. “We wanted to make them feel special and get an opportunity to do this as well.”
Carver and other 4-H and FFA students around the area helped put on this event for the second year. She says the idea came from an organization in San Angelo.
“This year we made sure to grow it,” Carver said. “We doubled our numbers. We have 48 special needs kids who get the opportunity to show a pig, hold a bunny and do many other activities. It’s just really important because we want to reach more and more kids each year.”
Those students came from Shallowater’s HONDA program, which also services Hale Center, Olton, New Deal and Abernathy. Students from Plainview and Floydada’s SPED programs also took part in the show.
“It’s a really cool experience, just seeing the smiles on their faces when they do get to see these animals, because they don’t ever get the opportunity to do that,” Carver said.
The students are led through various stations, which included a barn dance, crafts and animal washing, by a 4-H or FFA buddy. It’s all possible thanks to volunteers and donors like the Texas Farm Bureau.
“We were able to give a sponsorship, they applied for it,” Agency Manager Meredith Campbell said. “We then not only were able to donate some of the money, but as an office, we’ve come in, our board members are here. We actually closed our offices this morning to come out and support this. It’s something that’s really important to us.”
Other South Plains schools are also starting similar stock shows. Idalou ISD held a “Unified Stock Show” for the first time in January, saying it would become a tradition.
Carver invites other schools, programs and volunteers to join them in the years to come.
“We just look forward to next year about how much we’re going to grow,” Carver said. “If we doubled our numbers this year, I think next year could be a really cool experience.”
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