July 10, 2017 | North America: Michigan

Dalvin Keller

By Special Olympics Staff

“If it wasn’t for Special Olympics, I would be dead,” says Dalvin Keller.View Story “If it wasn’t for Special Olympics, I would be dead,” says Dalvin Keller. Dalvin and many of his teammates live in a crime-ridden part of Flint, Michigan and volleyball serves as a positive outlet for them. Special Olympics allowed Dalvin to find success on the court, make friends and see a life beyond the danger of his neighborhood. His mother is extremely proud of him and how far he has come.

About Special Olympics Staff: Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all.
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June 19, 2017 | North America: District of Columbia

Unified Champion Schools to play big part at Schools to Watch® Conference

By Leigha Bannon

13th Annual Schools to Watch® Conference

Three Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools who have met these standards are presenting at the Schools to Watch Conference.View Story Through the Schools to Watch® initiative, the National Forum for Middle Grades Reform identifies schools across the United States that are well on their way to meeting the Forum’s criteria for high performance. Forum members believe that three things are true of high-performing middle-grades schools:They are academically excellentThey are developmentally responsiveThey are socially equitable Three Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools who have met these standards are presenting at the Schools to Watch Conference in Arlington, Virginia, USA. Other Unified Champion Schools will attend. David DeSanctis, a young man with Down syndrome and an actor in the film "Where Hope Grows," will give the keynote presentation. We are proud of all of our Unified Champion Schools. We want to shout to the three who met the National Forum's standards and were asked to present their amazing work:Palmetto Middle School (SC)Baldwin Street Middle (MI)Clague Middle School (MI)

About Leigha Bannon: Unified Champion Schools Resources & Communications Manager
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June 12, 2017 | North America: Michigan

Kayla Cornell is the 2017 SpartanNash Healthy Athlete of the Year

By Katia Koerner

Kayla Cornell, 2017 SpartanNash Healthy Athlete of the Year.

Kayla Cornell from Comstock Park, Mich. was named the "2017 SpartanNash Healthy Athlete of the Year" on Thursday, June 1.View Story Kayla Cornell from Comstock Park, Mich. was named the "2017 SpartanNash Healthy Athlete of the Year" on Thursday, June 1. A crowd of more than 6,000 people at Kelly/Shorts Stadium on the campus of Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant were in attendance. The announcement was made during the Opening Ceremony for the 2017 Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games presented by SpartanNash. Kayla has been competing with Special Olympics Michigan for 15 years. Her dedication, determination and achievements made her a prime candidate for this award. Whether it was motivating her friends to go to the gym or just working on accomplishing her own goals; she was committed to changing her life. Her commitment has helped her live a healthier life, become a great motivator to others and find her passion. "You just have to have the dedication for it," said Kayla, "this is just amazing."

About Katia Koerner: Katia Koerner is a former marketing and communications department intern with Special Olympics Michigan.
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