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 2023-2024 school year by CLICKING HERE!
The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools strategy 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.
Download the Inclusion Report here
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**
Application is due on Wednesday, November 1, 2023.
*For a hard copy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Unified Sports Offered
Become a Unified Coach / Become a Unified Partner / Become 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 Schools Playbooks above.
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
UCS in Action