Special Olympics Michigan Project UNIFY
Special Olympics Project UNIFYreg is a youth-centered, school-focused initiative that brings students with and without intellectual disabilities together through education, sports and youth leadership to provide them with the knowledge, attitudes and skill necessary to create and sustain school communities that promote acceptance, respect and human dignity.
A Catalyst for Change
Through data collected, Special Olympics has learned that in order to be transformative within schools, state Programs need to go beyond simply providing students the opportunity to engage in single, Special Olympics-specific initiatives. It is the connection between Special Olympics initiatives, along with the youth and school’s involvement in the design and implementation of Project UNIFYreg that can foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment for students with intellectual disabilities.
We also understand how important it is for Special Olympics Michigan to collaborate with educators in identifying what role Project UNIFYreg can play in meeting their state, district and individual school’s strategic goals, whether it be promoting school climate, developing physical fitness, building character, preventing bullying, enhancing student engagement, or any other important school reform.
What is a Project UNIFYreg School?
A sustaining Project UNIFYreg School is a combination of at least three components sports, youth leadership/advocacy, and a school-wide activity. In a Project UNIFYreg school there is an understanding that Project UNIFYreg is not just an incident or event that happens for one day, or a single experience, but rather year-long or seasonal activities. In a Project UNIFY school there is an expectation that acceptance and inclusion are everyday occurrences that change entire schools and impact the whole student body.