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Youth and Schools Resources

Special Olympics Unified Schools, Unified Champion Schools, and College Clubs empower youth and educators to be leaders of change. Through playing and learning we will create a more inclusive world.

Unified Schools

Special Olympics Unified Schools is defined as a pre-school, primary school, secondary school, college or university offering Unified Sports opportunities to its students all across the globe. Unified Schools programming is designed to facilitate Special Olympics Unified Sports, provide classroom and community experiences that reduce bullying and exclusion, promote healthy activities, combat stereotypes and negative attitudes, eliminate hurtful language in schools, and engage young people in activities that lead to improved behavior and school climate.

Resources

This logo is used to represent the strategy being implemented in schools that combines youth leadership, inclusive sports, and whole school engagement
Special Olympics Unified Schools Logos

These logos are used to represent the strategy being implemented in schools that combines youth leadership, inclusive sports, and whole school engagement.

 

Three youth wearing matching sports jerseys smiling and giving a peace sign during a Special Olympics event.
Special Olympics Youth Plan 2017-2020

The Global Youth Plan was created with input from regions, programs, SOI HQ, and youth leaders. It will guide our efforts in youth engagement around the world and may have implications in your work. 

Over 6,500 people at a youth rally join the 66 Special Olympics Global Youth Leaders from 30 countries around the world and say “Ima Mesa!” (I’m In!), to their Dignity Revolution.
Special Olympics Youth Plan One-Pager
The five objectives of the Special Olympics Global Youth Plan are depicted here.

Unified Champion Schools

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is a comprehensive 3-component model that combines Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole School Engagement to create school and community climates of acceptance and inclusion. Currently, Unified Champion Schools is only based in the U.S.

Elementary School

Two elementary aged boys smiling, sitting on the grass wearing Youth Athlete t-shirts and bandannas.
Young Athletes in Unified Champion Schools
Overview of using the YA Activity Guide in Unified Champions Schools for US Programs.
Three elementary aged boys running in a Youth Athletes track meet, smiling and headed for the finish line with fans in the background.
YA Activity Guide - English (PDF)
Instructions for running the games and activities in Young Athletes. This version is for online viewing. 
Three elementary aged boys smiling and embracing each other during a Special Olympics Youth Athletes event.
Young Athletes Resources
Get information, activities, downloads in various languages and more to promote and do the Young Athletes program.
Group of young boys and girls sitting in a circle on the playground with their feet touching and their arms wrapped around one another as friends.
Elementary Level Playbook
COMING SOON

Middle School

Group of students dancing in unison on stage wearing matching t-shirts.
It's Our School Too!
Script for "It's Our School Too!" play for inclusive school performance.
Group of diverse students laying in a circle around a “Spread the Word to End the Word” poster containing the signatures of their fellow peers.
Inclusive Youth Leadership Guidelines
This will provide more information on how adults can effectively nurture inclusive youth leadership.
Two youth-aged females smiling and posing together in front of a rock climbing wall during a Unified Physical Education class.
Special Olympics Unified Physical Education Resource
This contains information that can be used in physical education curriculum.
Group of middle school aged students smiling and holding a sign that says “Unity” with a picture of planet Earth and their hand prints.
Middle Level Playbook
COMING SOON

High School

Individuals with and without intellectual disabilities smiling and posing together with a soccer ball and basketball.
High School Playbook
This resource will give you many tips and resources to make your school socially inclusive.
Female high school student making a speech in a packed gymnasium during a Unified Champion School banner recognition presentation.
Youth Leadership Guide
This resource provides educators and students with effective leadership tools.
Screen grab of the Unified Sports – A Student’s Guide cover page which contains two boys playing soccer.
Unified Sports- A Student's Guide
An overview that explains how students can bring Unified Sports to their schools.
Diverse group of high school aged students, smiling and embracing one another while two students are holding Special Olympics soccer balls.
Unified Sports Experience Quick Start Guide
This guide will walk you through the steps of organizing a local Unified Sports Experience in your community.

All Students

A group of high school students cheer with their hands raised up in the air during an exciting Youth Rally.
Host a Youth Rally or Youth Summit
Step by step directions and recommendations about how to host a rally at your school.
A group of high school students in front of a Special Olympics step and repeat, smiling and wearing lanyards from their Youth Summit.
How to Recruit Diverse Youth Leaders
This resource provides advice about how to make your group inclusive and diverse.
 The National Association of Student Councils logo which contains a torch within a shield and the words “National Association of Student Councils.”
Special Olympics and National Association of Student Councils
Menu of Special Olympics resources that support the NASC Global Citizenship and National Student Leadership Week projects.
A Unified Club made up of a group of high school students, spending time together outside of school at a BBQ.
Starting a Unified Club
How to create and sustain a Special Olympics Unified Club.

Activities

Card Creator
Card Creator
Inspire a Special Olympics Athlete with your own message of motivation! Design and send your support card here.
Create A Tale
Create A Tale
Create your own Special Olympics story. Make it silly or serious. Choose words from the list at right and drag them into the blanks in the story.
Heading Down the Perseverance Trail
Heading Down the Perseverance Trail
Check out this fun activity and head down the perseverance trail.
Right Words to Spread
Right Words to Spread
Learn the types of words we should be spreading in this fun game.

All Educators

A Unified Sports team celebrates a fun game by lifting one of their teammates into the air while they all cheer.
A Framework for Socially Inclusive Schools
This resource describes the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools conceptual framework for providing leadership and guidance to educators, students, communities and advocates in promoting successful, socially inclusive practices.
A group of high school students work intently together on a project.
A Policy Guide for Socially Inclusive Schools
This resource contains a call to action and a road map for federal, state and local policymakers to encourage, support and reward social inclusiveness in schools.
A high school male stands proudly with his hands in the air as his coach puts his medal around his neck with a friend claps for his success.
Quick Reference Coaching Guide Brochure
This four-page brochure provides strategies to improve learning and performance for athletes with intellectual disabilities. It is based on the "Athlete-Centered Coaching Guide" brochure.
A Unified Champion School teacher is warmly welcomed into a banner recognition presentation by students high fiving her and cheering as she walks by.
Education Leaders Network Toolkit
Tools and responsibilities to support Education Leaders Networks.

All Programs

Screen grab of the Introduction to Autism and Instructional Sports online course, containing the table of contents and coach’s playbook.
Online Course: Introduction to Autism and Instructional Sports
Free online course specific to coaching individuals with Autism (from Special Olympics VA).
Special Olympics CEO, Mary Davis, presenting during a banner recognition presentation with a large group of high school cheerleaders intently listening in the background.
Outreach for Superintendents
Integrate and sustain a school climate that nurtures the characteristics of Unified Champion Schools.
Two students march by, holding a sign reading “Inclusion: become a fan” as they celebrate during a banner recognition presentation.
Special Olympics and Bullying Prevention
Understand Special Olympics' role in preventing bullying in schools.
Two youth leaders, one male and one female, speaking behind a podium on stage during a Youth Summit.
Youth Summit Adult Ally
A resource that may be used when planning a state or youth summit.

Core Messaging Package

Screen grab of the Master Slide Deck
Core Package: Overview One-Pager
This document is best used for quick overview of UCS with high level reach information.
Screen grab of the Research Infographic.
Core Package: Research Infographic

This attention grabbing resource contains important and impactful statistic about UCS programming. 

Screen grab of the Research Overview.
Core Package: Research Overview
This document goes into detailed statistics of UCS programming.
Screen grab of the Case Statement.
Core Package: Case Statement Booklet

An in-depth look at UCS that discusses the problems in schools today that UCS programming addresses with solutions, outcomes, reach, evaluation, and model examples. 

Marketing & Communications

A female student proudly holding up a school athletic letter while posing next to a female cheerleader, smiling, after a national banner recognition presentation.
Unified Champion Schools Brand Guidelines
These guidelines explain how the visual identity assets of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools should be used in different communications and branding materials in the United States.
A group of students laying on their stomachs on the floor of a gymnasium in a circle surrounding their physical education teacher.
Unified Champion Schools Language Guidelines
Learn the right words and phrases of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools. You will also find examples and social media guidance. This material is used in the United States.
Students hold hands in a circle in a high school gym
Be A Game Changer (MP4)
View the excitement and comradery that can be achieved as a Unified Champion School in this video that highlights the positive school climate created when Unified play, inclusive student leadership and whole-school engagement are an integral part of your school.
Screen grab of the “Be a Game Changer” video on students holding hands in a circle in a packed gymnasium.
Be A Game Changer with Closed Caption (MP4)
View the excitement and comradery that can be achieved as a Unified Champion School in this video that highlights the positive school climate created when Unified play, inclusive student leadership and whole-school engagement are an integral part of your school.

Logos

Picture of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools logo containing the signature Special Olympics “meatball” and the words “Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools”.
Unified Champion Schools Logo
This logo is used to represent the strategy being implemented in schools that combines youth leadership, inclusive sports, and whole school engagement. This logo is ONLY used for implementation within the United States.
Picture of Special Olympics Unified Champion School logo containing the signature Special Olympics “meatball” and the words “Special Olympics Program Name” to the left and “Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools” to the right.
Unified Champion Schools Logo for Programs
This logo provides Accredited Programs the chance to customize the Unified Champion Schools logo and link it to their Accredited Program logo. This logo is ONLY used for implementation for Accredited Programs within the United States.
Picture of Special Olympics Unified Club logo containing the signature Special Olympics “meatball” and the words “Special Olympics Program Name” to the left and “School/Club Name, Unified Club” to the right.
Unified Champion Schools Logo for Schools
This logo provides Schools the chance to customize the Unified Champion Schools logo with their school or club name. This logo is ONLY used for implementation for Schools within the United States.
Picture of IDEA logo containing the word “IDEAs that Work” in a half circle and the words “U.S. Office of Special Education Programs” underneath.
Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Logo
This logo is used to represent the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) at the U.S. Department of Education. OSEP is a great supporter of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools. Please use this logo on resources related to Unified Champion Schools.

Publications

The Power of Youth Leadership
The Power of Youth Leadership
The Association for Middle Level Education's Middle Ground Oct 2015 features an article on effective middle schools ensuring all students have opportunities to lead written by the current chair of the Special Olympics UCS National Education Leaders Network.
NASBE The State Education Standard August 2013
NASBE The State Education Standard August 2013
This issue of NASBE The State Education Standard consists of four articles on Special Olympics youth and schools.
Promoting Social Inclusion in High Schools Using a Schoolwide Approach
Promoting Social Inclusion in High Schools Using a Schoolwide Approach
Study on impact of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program conducted by University of Massachusetts Boston, Center for Social Development and Education led by Gary N. Siperstein.
The Impact of Social Inclusion on School Climate
The Impact of Social Inclusion on School Climate
The National Association of Secondary School Principals' Principal Leadership Oct 2014 issue discusses social inclusion in an article written by a UCS staff member, the current Special Olympics UCS National Educators Leadership Network, and former senior research associate at the Center for Social Development & Education at UMass Boston.

Technical Assistance and Professional Development

Two proud Unified Champion School student strut across the gymnasium floor holding the banner their school received for resenting true inclusion while their classmates fill the gym with cheer.
Banner Recognition Program
It's Banner Time! This session will cover the in's and out's of the Special Olympics National School Recognition Program. Come learn how it works and what it means for your schools.
A group of high school students work intently together on a project.
Evaluation Data Toolkit
Encouraging research and evaluation of the Unified Schools strategy at the state level: The New Unified School Evaluation Guide.
A small group of students smiling and leaning back on one another as they sit on the gymnasium floor wearing school gear.
Unified PE
This session featured presentations from Program staff that highlight a variety of implementations strategies for Unified PE into Unified Champion Schools. Attendees received insight on resources in development and integrating this programming at the different school levels.
An elementary aged girl twirling ribbon in the air as she smiles with other young athletes in the background.
Young Athletes in Unified Champion Schools
Learn about new materials in Young athletes and best practices for implementing Young Athletes as part of a Unified Champion School.

Special Olympics College Clubs

Special Olympics College Clubs functions as an official club on campus and connects college students and individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport to build friendships and help lead the social justice movement of Special Olympics.

Resources

This logo is used to represent the strategy being implemented in schools that combines youth leadership, inclusive sports, and whole school engagement on college/university campuses.
Special Olympics College Clubs Logos
The attached logos are to be used for Special Olympics College Clubs. The general logos, as well as the logo that provides clubs the chance to customize the Special Olympics College Club logo with the accredited Program and Club name, are included.
Three male college teammates smile together arm and arm after winning the medals they are wearing.
Special Olympics College Club Branding Guidelines
The Special Olympics College Club branding guidelines are full of visuals and examples for college clubs to use.
Two college students share a hug and smile at a Special Olympics College Club event.
Special Olympics College Club Branding & Language Guidelines Webinar

Branding and language guidelines are now available for College Club programming. This webinar walks you through the updates with our college/university and resources experts. 

Two high school aged students playing Unified Soccer.
High School and College Unified Clubs
This recorded webinar to explains more about high school and college clubs! We cover how to get them up and running, as well as the best way to activate Unified clubs moving forward.