Coronado students carry on tradition, include special needs stud

Coronado students carry on tradition, include special needs students in homecoming

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

It started six years ago with one Coronado student asking a special needs student to homecoming. Since then, it has grown into an annual tradition, pushing unity for all Mustangs.

It is part of the BUDS: Building Up Deserving Students program.

Students with special needs get mums and flowers, and cheerleaders and football players ask them to homecoming.

"I felt really happy, I felt like, going to cry tears of joy," Alexis Cardenas, a Coronado High School student, said. "This means, it's a really special gift."

The tradition was started by Coronado alumnus Noah Sifrit, who is now a baseball player at Oklahoma State University, when he asked a student with special needs to homecoming.

"Our son, over a dinner conversation,  mentioned that he wanted to ask a special needs girl to homecoming, so my wife and I and him got together and started planning some things," Bruce Sifrit, Noah's father and principal at Hutchinson Middle School, said. "Instead of doing it for one, we started doing it for all of them."

Since then, it has grown into a yearly homecoming tradition, Bruce said, and includes every child in the special needs program at the high school.

"They're just kids, and they want to be involved in the same activities as everyone else," he said. "I've watched these kids grow up since they've been little kids. I've known a lot of the football players since they were babies in fact, so it's a special time for them to carry the legacy on."

It is a legacy the students said they are proud to continue.

"It makes me feel super happy that everyone's included, just 'cause some people, they do get left out, and this just makes everyone feel so welcome at our school," Lexis McMinn, a Coronado High School student, said.

They said showing kindness to these "deserving" students is a demonstration of the Coronado Culture, and hope it is something these students will remember for years to come.

"Anytime you get a chance to make somebody smile, or make somebody's day, you know, we want to take that chance and do it," Sawyer Robertson, a junior at Coronado High, said.

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