Become a Unified Champion School
The goal of Unified Champion Schools is to create school climates where students with disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in all activities, opportunities and functions.
These types of activities below allow students with and without intellectual disabilities to interact in a variety of ways. When all three components of the Unified Champion Schools program are implemented, it creates the maximum amount of opportunity for positive attitudes to be created among students and reinforced by the schools. We believe this strategy is complimentary to education objectives for creating school climates of respect and acceptance for all students.
Special Olympics Unified Sports® is an inclusive program which combines individuals with intellectual disabilities (athletes) and individuals without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competitions. Athletes and partners compete alongside one another, each in a meaningful and integral role. Sports activities include:
- Young Athletes® (Pre-K – 2nd)
- Unified Juniors (3rd – 6th)
- Unified Team League Play
- Unified PE Class
- Unified Exhibition or Sports Day
- Unified Sports Clinic
InClusive Youth Leadership
Students with and without intellectual disabilities working together to lead and plan advocacy, awareness, and other Special Olympics and related inclusive activities throughout the school year. The following are great examples of activities that other schools found successful:
- Unified/Inclusive School Clubs
- Special Olympics curriculum-based activities found in Play Books for each level – Elementary, Middle, High School
- Youth Leadership Training
- Youth Summits
- Fundraising Activities
Whole School Engagement
Awareness and education activities that promote inclusion and reach the majority of the school population. The following are great examples of activities that other schools found successful:
- School-wide activities such as Special Olympics Spread the Word to End the Word awareness campaigns, interactive booths at Disability Awareness events, or Hasbro’s Be Fearless Be Kind Pledges for Elementary Schools
- Host a Respect Rally or youth forum
- Conduct a Pep Rally for the Unified Sports team
- Host a Unified Sports event at your school and fill the bleachers (Fans in the Stands)
BENEFITS OF BECOMING A UNIFIED CHAMPION SCHOOL
- Reduced bullying and exclusion.
- Increased healthy activity and interactions between students with and without intellectual disabilities.
- Elimination of hurtful language in schools.
- Engagement of students in service learning activities that lead to personal growth.
- Funding to support your program that can be used towards: sports equipment, uniforms, transportation, or supplies for inclusive activities.
We are actively working to expand the Unified Champion School program across the state of Kansas. Please contact Taylor Obersteadt at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on how your school could get involved.
If your school is not currently participating, start your own program!
currently Participating Kansas High Schools and Middle Schools
Kansas City Metro/Lawrence/Topeka
Aubry Bend Middle School
Baldwin High School
Basehor-Linwood High School
Blue Valley High School
*Blue Valley North High School*
Blue Valley Northwest High School
Blue Valley Southwest High School
Blue Valley West High School
*Bonner Springs High School*
Eudora High School
Gardner-Edgerton High School
J.C. Harmon High School
Lansing Middle School
Lansing High School
Lawrence High School
Mill Valley High School
Olathe East High School
Olathe North High School
Olathe Northwest High School
Olathe South High School
Olathe West High School
Piper High School
Pleasant Ridge Middle School
Prairie Star Middle School
*Robert E Clark Middle School*
Shawnee Mission East High School
Shawnee Mission North High School
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School
Shawnee Mission South High School
Shawnee Mission West High School
Spring Hill High School
Tonganoxie High School
Topeka Seaman High School
*Washburn Rural High School*
Wellsville High School
Chetopa High School
Erie High School
Girard High School
Oswego High School
Pittsburg High School
West Bourbon Elementary School
* Indicates Unified Champion School National Banner Schools
Kansas Unified College Sports Opportunities
The Special Olympics Kansas Unified Champion School program is supported in part by the Kansas Coaches Association.