- Associated Press - Sunday, September 27, 2015

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A photo of the principal at Carrcroft Elementary bringing a student with cerebral palsy into a flag football game is drawing widespread praise on social media.

Fourth-grader Samuel Clark loves to watch his older brother play football on the Brandywine Warriors youth league. And he was excited for the year’s first game of flag football at Carrcroft.

Mark Overly, the school’s principal, organizes the flag football games as an after-school activity. He wanted to make sure Samuel got the chance to play, even though he has cerebral palsy and walks with leg braces and a “K walker.”

“We’re always trying to include everyone,” Overly said. “You know, Samuel’s got some challenges, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have fun and be a part of things too.”

Samuel’s mom, Samantha, went to see Samuel get the handoff.

“It was just an amazing thing to see,” Samantha said. “The look on his face was totally priceless. The kids were so great to him, very accepting.”

Samantha snapped a photo of Overly and Samuel and posted it to the Brandywine School District Facebook page. By the morning on Sept. 23, the post had been “liked” 1,336 times and shared.

The post got almost 100 comments, all of them praising Overly and Samuel.

“Fantastic! Nothing beats seeing joy on a child’s face,” wrote one commenter. “Your son is beaming! Way to go BSD!”

Samantha Clark said she’s been “totally blown away” by the positive reaction from the school community. The day after she posted the photo, several people at a Dunkin’ Donuts approached her to say how much they loved it.

“We didn’t expect anything like this,” Overly said. “We just wanted all the kids to be included. But to see that outpouring of support in a world where it seems like everybody just wants to be blasting everybody, to see that positivity was something really special.”


Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., https://www.delawareonline.com

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