Unified Champion Schools

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Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® is a strategy for schools Pre-K through College that intentionally promotes meaningful social inclusion by bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities to create accepting school environments.   

Sign your school up for the 2022-2023 school year by CLICKING HERE!


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The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program is aimed at promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting systems-wide change. With sports as the foundation, the three component model offers a unique combination of effective activities that equip young people with tools and training to create sports, classroom and school climates of acceptance.Together we are creating a Unified Generation that Chooses to Include.



Click here to register for the 2023 Virtual Summer Coaches Training on April 5th from 5:30-7:30!
Special Olympics Wyoming is offereing this training in 3 sessions:
Session 1 – 5:30pm-6:00pm: Welcome to Special Olympics Wyoming, and General Session Certification. This session is especially for all new coaches (although returning coaches are welcome!). Led by Laura Kelly
Session 2 – 6:00pm-6:30pm: Administrative side of coaching. Team paperwork, registration forms, data collection during practice. This session is for new coaches, coaches who would like a refresher, and local/team coordinators! Led by Katy Brittain
Session 3 – 6:30pm-7:30pm: Sport-specific breakout rooms. Get certified or re-certified in your sport, learn warm-ups, drills, exercises, and cool-downs, as well as rules to be aware of. This session is for all coaches!
                Athletics led by Jessica Purdum
                Basketball led by Jenni Wildcat
                Swimming led by Sarah Call
                Powerlifting TBD

Youth Innovations Project Application NOW OPEN-- Are you Ready to Promote Inclusion in Your Community?
Special Olympics awards project-based grants to young people with and without intellectual disabilities. These grants fund youth-led projects that promote inclusion in schools and communities across the globe.  What is a Youth Innovation Grant? Special Olympics awards project-based grants to Youth Leaders around the world twice per year in amounts of 500, 1,000, 1,500, or 2,000 U.S. Dollars.
Click here for more information and to apply.  **Applicants will be notified whether or not they have been accepted 30 days from the date of application submission**

National Banner Recognition-- Application opens APRIL 3RD!
A Special Olympics Unified Champion School has an inclusive school climate and exudes a sense of collaboration, engagement and respect for all members of the student body and staff. A Unified Champion School receiving national banner recognition is one that has demonstrated commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 national standards of excellence. These standards were developed by a national panel of leaders from Special Olympics and the education community.

The primary activities within these standards include: Special Olympics Unified Sports® (where students with and without disabilities train and compete as teammates), Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole-School Engagement. Banner Unified Champion Schools should also be able to demonstrate they are self-sustainable or have a plan in place to sustain these activities into the future.

The expectation of this recognition is that the 10 standards are continuously being met, year after year. To ensure this sustainability, schools reapply for banner status every 4 years

Check out the links below to see if your school is ready to apply in April! You may be farther along than you think!

National Standards for Elementary Schools

National Standards for Middle Schools and High Schools



Elementary School Playbook          Middle School Playbook 311x400          High School Playbook 308x400

*For a hard copy, please email ucs@specialolympicswy.org

Unified Sports Offered

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 SO SportsIcon Soccer Reversed Circle SO SportsIcon Softball Reversed Circle


Become a Unified CoachBecome a Unified PartnerBecome an Athlete

Whole School Engagement

Awareness and education activities that promote inclusion and reach the majority of the school population. Examples are Inclusion Campaign, pep rallies, “fans in the stands”, “Spread the Word”, etc.
More examples and how to implement Whole School Engagement can be found in the Unified Champion School Playbooks above.


Spread The Word

Spread The Word

2023 is Going All In(clusive): This thematic is action-oriented—a motivational rallying cry that doubles down on the belief that everyone is the goal of our efforts. We are calling on our youth, our Special Olympics athletes and ambassadors to share their stories of courage, dedication, and engagement for inclusion. They are encouraged to share when the last time was that they went all in(clusive)—totally committed to something, bet everything on a hand, stood up for something they believed in. In a call to action, each individual message is encouraged to end with a personal commitment on how they plan to “go all in” to take their own action for inclusion. Going all in(clusive) also means speaking up against the wrong and demeaning use of the R-word in conversations. It is part of an education effort that showcases that language informs attitudes and attitudes impact actions. In 2023, the annual day of awareness is held on March 1, 2023. While most activities are centered on or near that awareness day in March, people everywhere are encouraged to spread the word throughout their communities and schools throughout the year through pledge drives, youth rallies and online activation.

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Jackalope Jump

Jackalope Jump

The Special Olympics Jackalope Jump is the coolest event of the winter. It is a unique opportunity to support Special Olympics Wyoming athletes by having students and staff take a dip into a cold body of water, either a dip into a river, a lake, a slip and slide, or into an icy pool! Schools can now easily get involved in this cool cause! Be sure to contact us at 307-235-3062 or letr@specialolympicswy.org if you decide to join us as a Cool School Challenger!

Inclusive Youth Leadership



Inclusive youth leadership happens when young people of all abilities are given opportunities to be leaders in their schools and communities. Inclusive leadership activities help students find their voices and allow them to become change-agents by promoting equity and acceptance. Start by transforming an existing club into an inclusive club by including youth with and without intellectual disabilities in club leadership positions. Or create a new school club focused on Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools that is recognized by school administration. More examples and how to implement Inclusive Youth Leadership can be found in the Unified Champion School Playbooks above.

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UCS in Action