Creating Social Inclusion in Schools
Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools (formerly Project UNIFY) builds on Special Olympics Colorado’s values, principles, practices, experiences and impacts to shape a generation that welcomes everyone.
Our Goal: Schools that Welcome All People
The Unified Champion Schools approach incorporates Special Olympics sports and related activities while enhancing the youth experience and empowering them to be change agents in their communities. This requires a shift in current programs and paradigms from a focus on events to committing to a movement advocating for youth as leaders.
This programming promotes social inclusion in schools to ensure special education and general education students are equitably engaged. Teachers and students are encouraged to collaborate and create supportive classrooms, activities and opportunities.
Students should be encouraged and supported to be agents of change, have opportunities to be leaders, and participate in collaborative school activities. To achieve this, school leaders and educators must foster a socially inclusive school climate that emphasizes acceptance, respect and human dignity for all students. A socially inclusive school is a place where no student is excluded because of the degree or type of disability or the services required to meet his/her needs.
WHAT’S A UNIFIED CHAMPION SCHOOL?
1. Sports for All
Special Olympics Unified Sports brings together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to train and compete on the same team.
2. Leadership for All
Students with and without intellectual disabilities working together to lead and plan advocacy, awareness, and other Special Olympics related inclusive activities throughout the school year.
3. Welcoming for All
Awareness and education activities that promote inclusion and reach the majority of the school population.