Unified Champion Schools®

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® bring together students with and without intellectual disabilities through education, sports and youth leadership to provide them with the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to create and sustain school communities that promote acceptance and respect.

a young boy in a blue shirt

Special Olympics Iowa partners with pre-schools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges to implement or continue three main components of the Unified Champion Schools model.diagram

a drawing of a handUnified Sports®: Allows students with and without intellectual disabilities the opportunity to participate in sporting activities alongside one another

                      Youth Leadership & Advocacy: Allows students with and without intellectual disabilities an opportunity to take on leadership roles weaponwhich promote Unified activities in the school and community, while delivering the message behind these initiatives, which advocates for respectful and equitable treatment of all people

office buildingWhole-School Engagement: Allows opportunities for all students to participate in Unified School programming through sustained school-wide activities, which can include sports, education, leadership and advocacy initiatives

Resources for Unified Champion Schools:

Resources for Unified Champion Schools:

  • High School Playbook: A compilation of materials that support the goals and focus areas of the Unified Champion School model
  • Unified Physical Education Resource: This Unified Physical Education Resource is structured around the national physical education standards and grade-level outcomes
  • Youth Leadership GuideThis is a great resource to help schools develop, strengthen and maintain their youth leadership team
  • Video:  But Wait, There’s More –  a look at the different components of Unified Champion Schools
  • FundraisingThis recourse provides simple fundraising ideas as Unified Champion Schools across the nation are being encouraged to become more financially sustainable with only occasional financial support from their state offices
  • 8 Month Activation PlanHow to start the first school year with the Unified Champion Schools model
  • Young Athletes Play Day: How to use your Young Athletes Play Day kit


For more information about becoming a Unified Champion School®, contact:
Krista Smith, Director of Unified Programs