Unified Champion Schools

Read more about how Unified Champion Schools benefit all of us in “The Unified Effect”

What is a Unified Champion School?

Special Olympics Unified Schools strategies focus on creating and sustaining a positive school climate that values and manifests appropriate and effective engagement leading to inclusion, acceptance, respect and human dignity. Special Olympics Unified Schools is funded by the US Department of Education that is implemented within elementary, middle and high schools across the nation. Its goal is to activate youth around the country in an effort to promote the importance of inclusive school activities.

A Special Olympics Unified Champion School has the following 3 Components:

  • Unified Sports

  • Inclusive Leadership

  • Whole School Engagement

Why be a Unified Champion School?10929906_839779312737463_4980660447750768611_n

Special Olympics Unified Schools provides a framework, philosophy and set of practices that engage all students in activities that improve achievement and lead to lifelong success. Special Olympics Unified Schools is proven to enhance school climate. Special Olympics Unified Schools takes us from include to UNIFY, from special education students to all students, from adult-led to student-led, from sport opportunities to sports as a catalyst for social inclusion and attitude change.

Funding Opportunities: Schools can receive funding support for Unified Sports teams (including uniforms, equipment, transportation, and coaches stipends), club activities, and whole school involvement events.

Outcomes of Unified Schools: Students without disabilities hold more positive attitudes toward their peers with intellectual disabilities School communities of acceptance where students with intellectual disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in, and feel a part of, all school activities, opportunities and functions More students with and without ID playing sports together.

Funding Opportunities for Schools

The Unified Champion Schools Program is a US national project, funded by the US Department of Education that is implemented within elementary, middle and high schools across the nation. Funding is available to schools participating in Utah based on the following funding model:

  • Year 1: Schools will be able to receive funding for all activities within the three elements of a Unified Champion Schools program.
  • Year 2: Schools will receive funding for all activities if they participate in all three elements as a Unified Champion School.
  • Year 3: Unified Champion Schools will receive funding for all new activities (i.e. new Unified Sports team, new whole school activity).
  • Year 4 and beyond: Unified Champion Schools can apply for funding up to $500 to help offset the costs of new activities and programs.

Because this funding model is new, all schools returning to the program for the 2018-2019 school year will be considered a Year 2 school. Special Olympics Utah can help to provide fundraising opportunities for schools to participate in to help cover the costs that can no longer be covered by grant funding.

For more information on how to get involved, contact our Youth & Sports Partnerships Program at 801.363.1111 or        worthen@sout.org

Ready to become a Unified Champion School? Schools can sign the agreement for the 2018-2019 school year here: UCS Agreement


Unified Champion Schools and Unified Sports Programs are proudly sponsored by: