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Giants to participate in Unified Games this week

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Information provided by Special Olympics Indiana

Dozens of Marion Community Schools students will be participating in Unified Game Day this Thursday, May 10. Hundreds of students from around Grant County will be participating in the event, a partnership between the Grant County Special Education Co-Op, of which MCS is a part, and Special Olympics Indiana.
 
Students in kindergarten through eighth grade will participate in the Unified Games at Mississinewa High School this year, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. Parents and supporters are welcome to attend. There will be an opening ceremony featuring a torch run by the Gas City Police Department and Gas City Volunteer Fire Department. The games will feature a Special Olympics-style competition in a variety of unified track and field events. Students in preschool will also be participating in games at their own schools.

Special Olympics Indiana and the Grant County Special Education Co-op work together to engage students in activities designed to promote school communities where young people are agents of change, fostering respect, dignity, and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. Through this program, known as Unified Champion Schools, children of all abilities are provided opportunities to develop self-confidence and social skills while learning the fundamentals necessary for future participation in Unified Sports training and competition.

GCSEC partner schools are among hundreds across the state to embrace Special Olympics’ innovative approach to improving social
inclusion while simultaneously developing motor skills through curricula which aligns with Indiana State educational standards. More than 10,000 Indiana students have participated in the program during the 2017-2018 school year.

“Indiana has been recognized as a national leader in the realm of Special Olympics’ Unified Sports and social inclusion initiatives, and it’s thanks in large part to the support of faculty, administrators and students in hundreds of schools throughout the state,” said Special Olympics Indiana President and CEO Jeff Mohler. “The Special Olympics movement is still about sports, but it’s also about changing the way the world sees people with intellectual disabilities by targeting younger generations through programs like Unified Champion Schools.”

According to Lisa Graham, director of GCSEC, Marion Community Schools began participating as a Unified Champion School two years ago and was joined by Mississinewa Community Schools last year. This was so successful that all five districts in the county are now able to participate together, much like an athletic conference or Grant Four competition.

Special Olympics Indiana’s Unified Champion Schools initiatives are supported in part by the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education, the Indiana Middle Level Education Association, and — through a partnership known as Champions Together — the Indiana High School Athletic Association.

>> Click here to learn more about Unified Champion Schools