Inspiring students honored for their inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities through participation in Special Olympics school club
Ten outstanding youth across the United States were recognized as BE FEARLESS BE KIND Award winners by Special Olympics and global play and entertainment company, Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS). The Award celebrates youth in Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools across the country who are leaders for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in their community and exemplify the qualities of compassion, empathy, and courage. Part of Hasbro’s BE FEARLESS BE KIND philanthropic initiative, winners were selected for taking action in their schools to end discrimination of youth with intellectual disabilities and to help create a more inclusive school culture. Each of the youth received $1,000 to support Special Olympics programming in their school.
The 10 winners are Jesse Custer, Deandre Miller and Seth Speck from Michigan, Matthew Gregory from North Carolina, Blade Hibbert from Wyoming, Anthony Lyles from South Carolina, Daniel Meyerson from Rhode Island, Reign Palama from Hawaii, Kennedy Sharpe from Maine and Addison Willcott from Kansas. The winners, all 5th through 9th graders, were nominated by teachers or coaches from their schools. Stories were included in the submissions that went beyond high fives in the hallway and passes on the field or court. The winning students encouraged their peers to participate in Special Olympics Unified Sports, activated school-wide programs like the R-word campaign, and assisted students with intellectual disabilities in the classroom.
“The important qualities of kindness and empathy that Hasbro is celebrating through the BE FEARLESS BE KIND Awards are vital to creating schools and communities that are inclusive of people with all abilities. I commend these excellent youth who are true leaders in the fight to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities, they each represent the future of the Special Olympics movement and our vision of a Unified Generation” said Mary Davis, CEO, Special Olympics International.
BE FEARLESS BE KIND is Hasbro’s signature philanthropic initiative designed to inspire and empower kids to have compassion, empathy, and courage to stand up for others and be inclusive throughout their lives. The core elements of BE FEARLESS BE KIND are dedicated to teaching empathy, putting empathy into action, and celebrating kind kids who serve as positive role models and changemakers.
"As a company dedicated to making the world a better place for children and their families, Hasbro is passionate about helping young people develop empathy, create a more inclusive world, and make a difference," said Karen Davis, Hasbro's senior vice president of Global Philanthropy and Social Impact, and president of the Hasbro Children's Fund. “These young leaders are proof that there is no age limit or special skillset required to be inclusive and we are proud to partner with Special Olympics in celebrating them as our BE FEARLESS BE KIND Award winners.”
In addition to recognizing the 10 BE FEARLESS BE KIND Award winners, Hasbro is also supporting Special Olympics Unified Schools programming with grants to 11 programs in eight countries, helping to engage more than 6,000 youth with and without intellectual disabilities in 170 schools. Parents and teachers can find resources for teaching empathy and putting it into action through an online hub. To learn more about Hasbro's BE FEARLESS BE KIND initiative, visit www.BEFEARLESSBEKIND.com, follow the company on Twitter (@Hasbro), and join the conversation online using #BeKind and #BFBK.
Special Olympics offers programming in schools to end bullying and discrimination of youth with intellectual disabilities to shape a generation that welcomes everyone. The Unified Champion Schools approach incorporates Special Olympics sports and related activities while enhancing the youth experience and empowering them to be change agents in their communities. This is achieved through three pillars: Unified Sports (uniting students with and without intellectual disabilities), inclusive youth leadership, and whole school engagement. This programming promotes social inclusion in schools to ensure special education and general education students are equitably engaged. Teachers and students are encouraged to collaborate and create supportive classrooms, activities and opportunities.
Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS) is a global play and entertainment company committed to Creating the World's Best Play Experiences. From toys and games to television, movies, digital gaming and consumer products, Hasbro offers a variety of ways for audiences to experience its iconic brands, including NERF, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH, MONOPOLY, LITTLEST PET SHOP and MAGIC: THE GATHERING, as well as premier partner brands. Through Hasbro Studios and its film labels, Allspark Pictures and Allspark Animation, the Company is building its brands globally through great storytelling and content on all screens. Hasbro is committed to making the world a better place for children and their families through corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. Hasbro ranked No. 1 on the 2017 100 Best Corporate Citizens list by CR Magazine, and has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere Institute for the past six years. Learn more at www.hasbro.com, and follow us on Twitter (@Hasbro & @HasbroNews) and Instagram (@Hasbro).
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5 million athletes and Unified partners in more than 170 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including the Christmas Records Trust, the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics, The Coca-Cola Company, United Airlines, The Walt Disney Company and ESPN, Microsoft, Lions Clubs International, Bank of America, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, Safilo Group, and TOYOTA. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium.
Director, Marketing & Communications, North America
Katy Hendrickson, 401-727-5603