Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Special Olympics is finally back in-person and on-campus this spring. On Sunday, May 15, Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships (CEPP) once again will host the Special Olympics Track and Field event on Stokinger Field—bringing together 300 athletes from teams around the greater-Boston area to compete in running and throwing events. Milton’s student volunteers help escort athletes, time races, measure throws, and give out awards. The Milton Police and Fire Departments join in with their color guard for the opening ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. All are welcome to visit campus and watch this inspiring event.

On top of preparation for the Special Olympics, CEPP has also been busy this spring with weekly trips to many of its pre-pandemic partner sites, such as the Taylor Elementary School, Brookview Family Shelter after-school program, and all of the Milton public schools. Volunteers assist in K–5 classrooms, on playgrounds, and with after-school homework and snack. In advisories on campus, Class III students are helping sort clothes for Cradles to Crayons. As part of the town of Milton’s GreenUp Day, residents of Norris House and Goodwin House—along with athletes on the varsity boys’ soccer team—helped pick up countless bags of trash and recycling along the roads of our campus perimeter. Senior Projects are underway and many of our Class I students have chosen to work with our partners at CEPP locations, such as Brookwood Farm, Milton Residences for the Elderly, and several elementary schools.

Earlier this year, CEPP had enthusiastic student participation in the Winter Walk to raise awareness and funds for unhoused people; the Special Olympics basketball tournament; and the Red Cross Blood Drive with a record number of first-time donors giving a total of 34 pints of blood. Members of Goodwin House and Hathaway House joined CEPP Board leaders to create Valentine’s decorations, trivia games, and cards for over 300 residents at the Hebrew Senior Life in Roslindale. A Senior Seminar (Social Justice, Activism, and Community Engagement) was launched with a focus on food insecurity and issues of equity in education. Readings and discussions are paired with off-campus engagement, including visits to Community Servings to help provide homemade nutritionally tailored meals for low income, medically compromised individuals.