FALCONER – Special education students at Falconer Central School were honored Sunday during a special baseball game at the Falconer Little League Field.
Rich Bianco, a Falconer Central School Kindergarten Teacher, started the ‘Exceptional Stars’ baseball game to recognized students who may not get a chance to participate in athletic events.
“I was just always raised to treat everybody the way you want to be treated,” said Bianco. “I’ve always had a special place in my heart for kids with special needs, I’m not really sure where it came from, but it’s just one of those things as a young kid my parents impressed upon me to be kind, to be giving.”
Bianco also credits his Little League coach, Dick Tracey, who preached teamwork and community.
“That’s why I chose to come back to teach here (in Falconer) I graduated from Falconer and just wanted to give back to the community that gave so much to me as a young child and athlete growing up.”
Over one dozen special needs students partook in the baseball game that paired them with a ‘buddy’ from the Falconer Little League and Babe Ruth programs. The crowd cheered on the two teams who played two innings of America’s pastime.
Bianco said with the help of the community he hopes that the ‘Exceptional Stars’ baseball game could become an annual event.
The kindergarten teacher credits JRSC Digital, Crown Snack Foods, Coca Cola CCNNE, DJ Payne and Southern Tier Trailor for making the game a reality.