Unified Champion Schools
With sports as the foundation, Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is a strategy that offers a unique combination of sports, education and leadership activities to equip young people with tools and training to create sports, classroom and school climates of acceptance and inclusion. The activities and opportunities provided through the program help to reduce bullying and exclusion, promote healthy activity and interactions, combat stereotypes and stigma, eliminate hurtful language in schools and engage people in social activities that lead to personal growth.
Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is a comprehensive program of the Unified Schools strategy that combines Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole School Engagement to create the greatest impact.
See the complete list of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools in Vermont. Learn more about becoming an athlete or partner. For information on becoming a Unified Champion School, please contact Michelle Gates.
In the Community
Team sports bring people together and provide opportunities on and off the court for personal growth and friendship. Half a million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way. The term “partner” refers to teammates without intellectual disabilities.
In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability, which makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Many Special Olympics Vermont community programs offer Unified Sports opportunities. See the complete list of Unified Sports opportunities in Vermont. Learn more about becoming an athlete or partner. For information on how to Play Unified, please contact Michelle Gates.
Youth Activation Committee
The Special Olympics Vermont Youth Activation Committee (YAC) brings together high school students from several districts to build inclusive communities in our schools and society. YAC members provide advice and counsel on strategies designed to reach other youth, engage in and promote Special Olympics activities in their school and home environments, communicate the initiatives of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools, and network with other youth. The goal is to help the current young adult community grow into an accepting and inclusive adult community. This Unified generation will carry the importance of acceptance and inclusion throughout their lives and pass it along to those who look up to them as they continue to grow and influence those around them.
The Vermont Youth Activation Committee is made up of young people from across the state who work together to promote school communities where students are agents of change. The opportunities for YAC members are built around developing leadership, professionalism, and inclusiveness. The YAC focuses on three large projects each year: Presentation at the state Unified Champion School Conference in December, the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign in March, and organizing the Summer Games Dance in June. In addition to these major projects, members of the YAC have opportunities to present at conferences, volunteer for and participate in events, and play Unified Sports.
The Vermont Youth Activation Committee was formed in 2014 and was comprised of 4 members. Today the Vermont YAC has 10 members, represents 5 schools, and engages students between 8th and 12th grade. For more information about joining the Youth Activation Committee, please contact Caitlin Jenkins.