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Community Impact

SHAPE America and Special Olympics: 50 Years and Counting

SHAPE America is the national organization that serves as the voice for 200,000+ health and physical education professionals across the nation. Their extensive community includes association members, advocates and supporters, as well as 51 state affiliate organizations. What you might not know is that SHAPE America (formerly AAHPER) was involved with the Kennedy Foundation in the formative years of Special Olympics and then went on to serve as an endorsing organization for the first Special Olympics Games in 1968!

Three female students sitting on the gym floor doing a toe-touch stretch.

In celebration of this long-standing collaboration, SHAPE America has just published a feature article in Momentum Magazine, which can be accessed here. Additionally, they have created a landing page on their website specifically dedicated to Special Olympics resources.

Three million young people participate in 6,500 Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® across the US with support from the US Office of Special Education Programs at the US Department of Education. These young people make up the Unified Generation. They are taking personal ownership within their schools and communities to ensure that everyone has the right to play, learn and live together through shared leadership opportunities of students with and without intellectual disabilities. To learn more about the Unified Generation, visit:

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