Special Olympics Project UNIFY® is an education and sports based strategy powered by an engaged youth community that increases athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities, while creating communities of acceptance for all.
Unified Champion Schools is an education and sports based approach powered by an engaged youth community that increases athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities while creating communities of acceptance for all.
A Unified Champion School is comprised of three core components:
- Inclusive Sports - students with and without intellectual disabilities participate in sports alongside each other.
- Inclusive Youth Leadership - youth are the pioneers of an inclusive movement - leadership in classrooms and community.
- Whole School Engagement - entire schools accept and include students and others with ID.
2018-2019 National Banner Recognition Program
The Special Olympics National School Recognition Program application cycle is now open! The program is an opportunity for schools across the nation to be recognized for their achievements with inclusion. Ten standards of excellence, developed by a national panel of leaders in education and Special Olympics, for schools encompass Unified Sports®, Inclusive Youth Leadership, Whole School Engagement and Sustainability.
The 10 standards for High Schools and Middle Schools are:
1. Unified Sports is offered in at least 2 seasons throughout the school year.
2. Unified Sports participation occurs regularly over the course of each sport season or school term and includes competition.
3. An adult coach for each sport who has received training on Special Olympics Unified sports.
4. Unified Sports is officially recognized by the school in a similar style as other athletics/activities.
5. A Unified Club or student group offers leadership opportunities/training for students with and without intellectual disabilities.
6. The inclusive club/group meets at least once per month through out the school year.
7. The inclusive club/group has an adult liaison and is officially recognized by the school in a similar style as other clubs/activities.
8. At least two whole-school engagement activities are implemented per school year.
9. Students with and without disabilities are involved with planning and leading the awareness activities.
10. The school is currently self-sustainable or has a plan in place to sustain the three components into the future.
Applications are now open and close Monday, June 3 2019.
How can you get involved?
- Take the Pledge to End the R-Word
- Become a Unified Sports Partner
- Become a Special Olympics Coach
- Fundraise or Participate in a Jackalope Jump
- Join the Youth Activation Committee or become a mentor
- Be a Fan in the Stands
Learn more about Unified Champion Schools:
Becoming a Unified Champion School:
Get started now! Call (307) 235-3062