Over and over, I define Project UNIFY as "a program that uses sports and education to activate young people to develop tolerant and inclusive school environments." By the end of that definition, people's eyes start to glaze over. So, from now on, as I define Project UNIFY I will simply use the Everett cheerleaders as an example of what the program is all about.
The Everett cheerleaders and their coach Angela Jackson embraced six of Everett's Special Olympics athletes who wanted to be part of the cheerleading team. Every week for over a month, Iliana, Loretta, Amanda, Misty, Mariah, and Carson attended practice after school to learn a routine to perform at a JV basketball game and at the winter homecoming pep rally. The cheerleaders dedicated hours of their time, energy, and love to our Special Olympics athletes at these practices.
About Amy Robinson: Amy Robinson is a teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing at Everett High School in Lansing, Michigan. She is also a Special Olympics Project UNIFY Liaison.