Texas schools are creating a Unified Generation that Chooses to Include!

November 25, 2019 | Updated: December 09, 2019

The Special Olympics Texas Unified Champion Schools® program builds on Special Olympics Texas’ values, principles, practices, experiences, and impacts to shape a generation that welcomes everyone. Our goal is to create an environment where students of all abilities can plan and participate in activities that promote friendship and awareness, showing that we're more alike than we are different. We're in our 12th year of Unified programming and it's gearing up to be our most exciting yet!  
 

above: Lewisville High School celebrating their school-wide Commitment to Inclusion with a National Banner Presentation

What IS a Unified Champion School?

Special Olympics Texas Unified Champion Schools® is an education and sports based strategy powered by an engaged student community that breaks down barriers that separate students with and without intellectual disabilities. The Unified movement activates youth, engages educators, and promotes school communities of acceptance and inclusion where all young people are agents of change.
above: With the generosity of the Texas Education Agency and the Office of Special Education Programs U.S. Department of Education, the Special Olympics Texas Unified Champion Schools® program can thrive across Texas.
 
The three components of Unified Champion Schools are Inclusive Student Leadership, Unified Sports® and arts, and Whole School Engagement. All three areas are crucial to shift the culture of a school towards inclusion and once the three components are active, a school is considered a Unified Champion School. In Texas, we have over 100 schools actively participating in the #inclusionrevolution, with more jumping on board each week!
 

above: students from Pasadena ISD participating in a Unified club after school
 

The Impact

  • 86% of school staff feel that Special Olympics Unified Schools program has made a big impact in reducing bullying and teasing in their schools.
  • 97% of high school seniors say that Unified Champion Schools activities are changing their school for the better.
  • Participating in Unified Sports® or a Unified Club provides high school students (61%) with opportunities to get to know a peer with ID which in turn leads to friendship (94%).
Learn more about the impact the Unified Champion Schools program is having on students at www.generationunified.org.  Also, find out how we are partnering with the University Interscholastic League.  

"Becoming a Unified Champion School has changed every aspect of our lives at Brady High School. When I came into my classroom five years ago, my students barely left my room and weren’t sure where they belonged. Now they are involved in various clubs and organizations and have made so many new friends which has helped them grow tremendously. Our staff and student body are breaking barriers and experiencing the world around them and it’s all because of Special Olympics and the UCS program."

-Kami Dodds, Unified Club, Special Olympics Coach/HOD at Brady ISD

 

above: students from Brady High School, mentioned above by their Head of Delegation, Kami Dodds
 

Does your school have what it takes to become a Unified Champion School?
Contact UCSinfo@sotx.org today to get started!

 

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