Every year, fifth grade ACCENT students at Eastside Elementary attend the TOPSoccer Jamboree as part of the program’s effort to grow the students as leaders through community service. The TOPSoccer Jamboree is a community-based program that offers mentally and/or physically challenged children and young adults the opportunity to participate in meaningful and fun soccer games and activities. The fifth grade ACCENT students serve as volunteers to help set up, greet students as they arrive, lead games, and assist their new special friends as they play the games.
Freeman Students’ Comments about TOPSoccer
Selah Snow – “TOPSoccer was the most touching thing in the universe. I personally got to go around with my mom. She teaches special needs children at Eastside. I chose one of her students to partner with. When we got to Parachute Soccer, I just started to cry. It was so sweet when my partner would go around with me right by my side. I cried at almost every station. It was sad to leave. It was just so heart touching. Watching these kids makes me want to help each one of them.”
Riya Ahuja – “One little girl I helped had a disability called Down’s Syndrome. Every time she knocked the bowling pins down she would give me a high five and do a cha cha and point her fingers at me. This was my best day EVER!”
Ethan Rone – “TOPSoccer was amazing! I had a great time playing soccer with special needs friends.”
Aireyal Barrett – “These special needs students touched my heart! They may be different, but they are still my friend. I will never forget those moments!”
Chad Bates – “My favorite memory is when a special needs friend came up in a wheelchair, and I helped her play “Soccer Croquet.”
Keniah Dixon – There was a special needs child who had no legs, but she had silicone legs in their place. She couldn’t play the game I was helping with because she wasn’t able to kick the ball. She had to throw it, but she was still happy just to be there and be able to participate.
Ryan Fowler – My best memory was all of the special needs athletes running under the parachute, and they were laughing and smiling. It was so great!
Kameron Boone – TOPSoccer is a place where everyone no matter how they think, talk, walk, and run, it’s a place where everyone has fun!
Lillian Bullard – These special needs children have the sweetest hearts that warm others to a point where we just cry from experiencing this with them.
Hayze Martin – TOPSoccer is a great way for special needs students to make memories for both the special needs students and the people who are there working with them.
Kamari Burks – A special needs child that I helped called my her friend and hugged me. Tears of joy ran down my face.
Bradley Wells – TOPSoccer was a heart warming experience with these amazing special needs kids.
Caroline Allen – The students were filled with joy when they came to our station. They were just so happy with the things we painted on their faces. Even though it was just face paint, they loved it, and it put a smile on my face as well.
Ashlee Sumrall – My heart was touched when they were happy just kicking all the balls in the goal. I hated to leave because they were all so happy, and they were having fun!
Haddie Heindl – We can learn so much from the students at TOPSoccer because even with a disability they are all just happy to be here. This was definitely an experience I will never forget.
Cullen Lay – There was a sweet, little 4 year old special needs boy at TOPSoccer with the biggest grin on his face the whole time. Whenever he kicked the ball, he turned and gave me a high five with both hands. I was trying not to cry because I was so touched.
Maddy Breaux – TOPSoccer was such an amazing experience or me and changed really changed the way I look at the world in general. The way the special needs students acted towards other kids was so positive and so loving I never wanted to leave. TOPSoccer makes them feel like the champions that they were born to be! I hope that when I have my own children they will be as kind and loving as these special needs children were.