Bright Days: Student leaders create memory-making event for special education students

The South Beauregard High School Student Council hosted the inaugural BRIGHT Day last Thursday.

On BRIGHT Day (Beauregard Reaching, Inspiring and Giving Hope Together), the student councils from each high school and members of several SBHS organizations and athletic teams joined forces to create a memory-making event for special education students throughout the Beauregard school district.

After an opening ceremony, about 350 students participated in inclusive track and field events and “open play,” which allowed the students to play organized sports like t-ball and kickball. There were also 30 stations of carnival-style games and activities.

SBHS teacher and student council advisor Bridgette Hudler said that the vision for the event was to “create a sense of community, establish connections and simply bridge the gap between our students.”

She has hosted the Beauregard Parish Special Olympics in the past, and aimed to expand the event to include more student participants and volunteers.

“I felt like there was an opportunity for a greater impact to be made not just on the participants but on all students.”

BRIGHT Day was created for two reasons, she said. In addition to providing a “fun, inclusive atmosphere” for every student, granting student leaders an opportunity to serve their community was equally as important.

“I want them to experience what it’s like to make a difference in someone else’s life and see that they have the ability to be an inspiration to others simply by serving.”

This was an event that was created “for the students by the students.” The student council independently planned, organized and raised funds for the event, and networked with other student councils in the district to unite the schools.

The turnout was “amazing,” she said. The bleachers were packed with students to cheer on the students who participated in the games, and several of the volunteers dressed up in iconic characters and super-hero costumes.

“The look on their faces when they stepped off the bus and saw the characters was indescribable. I can’t tell you how many students, participants and volunteers, tell me ‘this was the best day ever!’”

Hudler said that BRIGHT Day was extremely important to her. Her mission (and passion) is to teach students how to serve and take pride in their community.

I am from here and experienced the love and sense of taking care of our people while growing up in Beauregard. … We have to pour into others so that they learn to carry it on. We have to teach them how to be productive citizens who contribute to society in a positive way. These students got to see how big of a difference they can make in the lives of others and my hope is that encourages them to do it again.”

Next year’s BRIGHT Day is already being planned, and she said next year it will be “better and brighter.” The date for next year’s event is April 17, 2025.

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