Drill and Football teams give back at Nina Harris Center for Exceptional Children

Giving back is a deeply-held value at Admiral Farragut Academy. All students are required to complete a minimum of 80 hours of community service to graduate, but most complete far more than that. While there are many ways that Farragut students choose to give back to their communities, one traditional event that the drill team and football team love to take part in is a game day event at Nina Harris Center for Exceptional Children.

On Friday, February 10 the event started off with the National Anthem, performed by senior Daniela Greco. “I’ve sang the anthem for this event for 3 years,” Greco said. “I’m a little sad that this is my final year doing it.”

This was followed by performances by the armed and unarmed drill teams. Physical education teacher at Nina Harris, Phyllis Sava, stressed her students how the drill teams use teamwork to create their formations and movements.

“Every year it’s been so wonderful,” said Ms. Sava. “Our kids love when we get visitors from those in the community. You don’t know how powerful it is for our kids and our staff.”

After the drill performances, the football team put on a scrimmage between the “Blue” team and the “White” team. After Nina Harris’ drum line performed, they invited the Nina Harris students to the field for two football stations; one where they could kick the ball and one where they could run for a touchdown.

“In the morning we do what’s called an NFL experience,” said Ms. Sava. “We do football stations and obstacle courses, so it warms them up, and by the afternoon they’re ready to watch a football game and to be a part of it.”

Nobody was left out of the festivities. “It’s great that they get to feel like part of the team,” said Ms. Sava. “Especially the wheelchair kids. A lot of the time when we have special guests they get overlooked so its nice that the Farragut students made allowances for kids that have special needs like a wheelchair, or even those that maybe can’t move as quickly as others.”

“Today was great” said junior football player Zion Roland. “I wish we could do this more. I had a fun time putting smiles on the faces of people that may not usually have smiles or the background that I have. I came out here and showed love to them and they showed love to me, and it was a great time.”

Toward the end of the event, students from both schools flooded the field to dance the “Cupid Shuffle”, among other songs. “We all did the wobble,” said Roland. “One of the kids taught me to do it. They were teaching me and I was teaching them, it just shows that we can all learn something from each other.”

“The dancing is the best part,” said Ms. Sava. “We truly appreciate Admiral Farragut Academy coming out, every year we really look forward to it. They’re all wonderful kids.”