School is back in session! With a brand new year of schooling comes more opportunities to celebrate the work of inclusion being done in schools all across the globe. In the United States, Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® are gearing up for more chances to bring together students with and without intellectual disabilities in fun and engaging ways.
To date, there are nearly 8,000 schools throughout the United States that offer Unified Champion Schools programming. Of those, there are some that go above and beyond to qualify for National Banner Recognition. These national banner schools are those that have met the ten standards of excellence for inclusion, as outlined by a national panel of leaders from Special Olympics and the education community. Each school’s application is reviewed by their Special Olympics Program, as well as a National Certifying Body of key leaders in the educational community.
Special Olympics is lucky to have partners and sponsors that support work like the National Recognition Program and other offerings throughout the organization. One of these meaningful partnerships is with Hasbro. Hasbro, a global play and entertainment company, has partnered with Special Olympics since 2016 to promote inclusion in schools across the world. Hasbro directly supports the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools in the United States by honoring a few national banner schools each year with special celebrations.
During the 2021 – 2022 school year, Hasbro and Unified Champion Schools will support special celebrations for 5 national banner schools to recognize them for their achievement in this amazing effort. These lucky schools are:
- Mary A. Otondo Elementary School (AZ)
- Robinson Elementary School (CA)
- Twin Ridge Elementary School (MD)
- Idlewild Elementary School (NC)
- Lake Murray Elementary School (SC)
Hasbro and Special Olympics are proud to announce supported celebrations for the following National Banner Unified Champion Schools: Mary A. Otondo Elementary School (AZ), Robinson Elementary School (CA), Twin Ridge Elementary School (MD), Idlewild Elementary School (NC), and Lake Murray Elementary School (SC).
Hasbro’s Senior Director of Global Philanthropy and Social Impact Kevin Colman also shared this news and the importance of the Special Olympics partnership on the Inclusion Revolution Radio podcast. Hear highlights from each of these amazing schools in the episode, which is now live.
Congratulations to each of these schools and their Special Olympics Programs on this momentous achievement!