Unified Champion Schools Overview

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools bring youth with and without intellectual disabilities together through sports and education to create school communities of acceptance and respect. Unified Champion Schools are seen through every level of education (Pre-K/Head Start through college) and are driven by youth and staff leaders. View the Unified Champion Schools Impact Statement.

Unified Champion Schools programming is designed to facilitate Special Olympics Unified Sports, provide classroom and community experiences that reduce bullying and exclusion, promote healthy activities, combat stereotypes and negative attitudes, eliminate hurtful language in schools, and engage young people in activities that lead to improved behavior and school climate.  

Special Olympics North Carolina has 390 official Unified Champion Schools across the state. Are you ready to join the movement? To complete the Unified Champion Schools application click here.

Unified Champion Schools provide a climate that is:

  • Free from bullying and exclusion
  • Combats stereotypes and negative attitudes
  • Eliminates hurtful language
  • Promotes healthy activity and interactions
  • Is welcoming and values the engagement of all students

North Carolina held its first Unified Champion Schools Conference 

More than 100 educators and youth leaders attended the first Special Olympics NC Unified Champion Schools conference in Greensboro! This two-day conference, led by youth leaders from across North Carolina, featured professional development sessions and a Young Athletes Festival.

Wake Forest High School recognized for commitment to inclusion

Wake Forest High School was named one of the ESPN Top 5, an honor awarded to five exemplary Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® to have their banner presentations officially presented by ESPN. Special Olympics North America and Special Olympics North Carolina, alongside ESPN’s Jen Lada, honored Wake Forest’s staff and students for choosing to include during a pep rally and champions parade through the school. 

Sycamore Creek Elementary School receives national recognition for commitment to inclusion

Sycamore Creek Elementary School held a pep assembly to celebrate their status as a National Banner Unified Champion School. The assembly featured video highlights of their Unified club and testimonials from current and previous students. Visitors were also able to watch students participate in Unified yoga and Unified recess.

Unified Champion School Resources

Learn more about how to make your school an official Unified Champion School! Download a Special Olympics NC Unified Champion Schools Toolkit!

Unified Sports – A Student’s Guide: An overview that explains how students can bring Unified Sports to their schools.

Want to know who is participating this year? Find the full list of 2018-2019 Unified Champion Schools.

Calling all high school graduating seniors! Check out Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools High School Graduation Packet and see how you can stay involved in Special Olympics after you leave high school!

Keep up to date with Special Olympics Language Guidelines.

Contact Us

Allison Stockburger (East)


Samantha Huffman (West)