Unified Champion Schools Updates

Unified Champion Schools Update Page

Welcome to the SONC Unified Champion Schools updates page! The purpose of this page is to keep our Unified Champion Schools well informed on upcoming events, requirements and resources throughout the year. This page will be sent out to all of our Unified Champion Schools once a month, but it is always live and can be found on our website.

Want to learn more about becoming a Unified Champion School? Check out our Unified Champion Schools overview page.

Spread the Word to End the Word – March 7th

Nearly 400 North Carolina students and educators came together on Halifax Mall in downtown Raleigh on Wednesday, March 7 for the 2018 Youth Rally. This fun-filled celebration of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools included speakers, school-led entertainment, DJ dance party, and much more! We hope that you continue to share the message of inclusion throughout your school and community all year long. We are excited to announce that the Unified Club from Northwood High School in Chatham County will be next year’s host! Check out photos from the rally here.

Unified Champion School: Highlight

The Poe Center for Health Education has launched a program with Special Olympics to host weekly nutrition and physical activity programs for Special Olympic athletes and unified partners at East Garner Magnet Middle School this fall. Health Educators will teach students helpful insights and tips to reach their personal fitness and athletic goals. Students will celebrate the program with a fun kick off event and end-of-year celebration at the Poe Center. This program is made possible thanks to a grant courtesy of the Carolina Hurricanes. The Poe Center is North Carolina’s leading health education center having served over one million NC citizens since 1991.

Unified Champion Schools: National Banner Recognition Program

A Special Olympics Unified Champion School has an inclusive school climate and exudes a sense of collaboration, engagement and respect for all members of the student body and staff. A Unified Champion School receiving national banner recognition is one that has demonstrated commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 national standards of excellence. These standards were developed by a national panel of leaders from Special Olympics and the education community.

The primary activities within these standards include: Special Olympics Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole-School Engagement. Banner Unified Champion Schools should also be able to demonstrate they are self-sustainable or have a plan in place to sustain these activities into the future. For more information check out the additional resources to the right. Questions about the 10 standards or application process email

Coaching Unified Sports Course


So much effort has been put into Unified Sports over the past couple of years, and we want to thank each of you for your continued support and dedication! As a thank you, we are offering an awesome incentive for anyone who completes the free online Coaching Unified Sports Certification by April 15th. This free one-hour course will help you understand and implement Unified Sports in your school.  The updated course, which is hosted by Kevin Negandhi of ESPN’s SportsCenter, is offered at no cost for coaches and educators wishing to implement Special Olympics Unified Sports in their schools. Once you have completed the course, send a copy of your certificate to your Youth Initiatives Director along with your shirt size, and you will be sent a Unified Sports Coach jacket in return!

Unified Track and Field

Special Olympics Unified Track & Field in North Carolina is growing! A warm welcome back to Guilford and Wake County High Schools participating again this year. For the 2017-2018 season we are thrilled to welcome all 10 public high schools in Cumberland County to the program! For more information on Unified Track and the steps to get started, check out the interest video below! If you have any additional questions or if you are ready to get started, reach out to your Youth Initiatives Director, or email

2018 Spread the Word to End the Word Rally Resources

Check out these great resources for schools to plan and host a Spread the Word to End the Word Rally!

A step-by-step guide on how to plan a rally? Check out our R-Word Toolkit!

Enhance your Spread the Word to End the Word Rally by hosting a Chain of Unity fundraiser!

Other Resources:

Contact us

Allison Stockburger (East)


Samantha Huffman (West)