FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : January 30, 2023
February 3rd, 2023, Houston, Texas – Spring Woods High School (SWHS) will be named a Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® receiving National Banner School and ESPN Top-5 School recognition. The celebration will be held on February 3rd, at Spring Woods High School (2045 Gessner Rd, Houston, TX 77080) from 11:30-2:30 pm. The event will host a VIP luncheon, opportunities for media interviews, and a pep rally for the official banner presentation, hosted by ESPN’s NFL Nation Reporter for the Houston Texans, DJ Bien-Aime.
The Special Olympics Texas Unified Champion Schools® program engages the entire school community to promote inclusion, respect, and acceptance for all students, with and without intellectual disabilities. Building on the values and principles of Special Olympics Texas, schools across the state are working to create environments that shape the next generation. Through a partnership with the Department of Education, Special Olympics Texas provides the tools and support necessary for each school to succeed.
"I am so proud that Spring Woods High School was chosen as a National Banner Unified Champion School. This is a huge accomplishment for SWHS because it truly embraces our motto: All Means All”, says Spring Woods Principal Jennifer Collier. “When we think about embracing the strengths and gifts of every child, there is no place that spotlights this more than our Unified Programs.”
Spring Woods High School is one of five Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools recognized nationally by ESPN. Spring Woods has been a Unified Champion School for four years and competes in 12 Special Olympics Unified Sports® including, Football, Cross Country, Track and Field, Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer, Golf, Tennis, Robotics, Art, Dance, and Cheer. The program started in 2019 and has grown into the school’s most valued initiative.
"We are proud of how Spring Woods High School has successfully integrated inclusion into every aspect of their campus,” said Special Olympics Texas East Region Associate Executive Director AJ Edenzon. “With this honor, they continue to inspire surrounding schools and districts to build their involvement and engagement with Unified Champion Schools."
Unified Champion Schools use a unique approach that incorporates Special Olympics Unified Sports® (where students with and without disabilities train and compete as teammates), Inclusive Youth Leadership, and Whole School Engagement activities that empower youth to be agents of change in their communities.
Students with and without intellectual disabilities work together alongside educators and administrators to positively impact their school and community. The Special Olympics Texas UCS program is celebrating over 15 years and is active on hundreds of campuses.
About Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect. SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 58,800 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship. To learn more, visit www.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646. Engage with us on: Twitter @SOTexas; fb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX; youtube.com/specialolympicstexas.