Banner presentation, pep rally, and Unified basketball game will take place (Photo: Submitted)
Special Olympics Tennessee has announced that Harpeth High School, a Special Olympics Unified Champion School, is receiving national banner recognition for its efforts to provide inclusive sports and activities for students with and without disabilities. Harpeth High School is receiving this honor as a result of meeting national standards of excellence in the areas of inclusion, advocacy and respect. An awards presentation will take place at the school on March 9 at 12:00 p.m.
Harpeth High School will be amongst a select number of schools to receive this distinction. They will be presented with a banner to hang in their school and be included on a list of other schools around the country who have achieved this distinguished status.
There will be a school-wide assembly to celebrate Harpeth High School’s designation as a national banner school. The assembly will also feature a pep rally and a basketball game between Harpeth High School’s Unified team and Traditional team.
Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® is a strategy for schools Pre-K through university that intentionally promotes meaningful social inclusion by bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities to create accepting school environments, utilizing three interconnected components: Special Olympics Unified Sports®, inclusive youth leadership and whole school engagement. Harpeth High School is also home to two of 30 nationwide Special Olympics U.S. Youth Ambassadors: Calli Copeland and Haley Romines.
More than 70 schools are currently participating in Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools programming in Tennessee as part of more than 8,000 schools across the country engaged in the program. Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools aims to expand to 10,000 schools by the end of the 2023-2024 school year.
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® (where students with and without disabilities train and compete as teammates), inclusive youth leadership and whole-school engagement. National banner schools should also be able to demonstrate they are self-sustainable or have a plan in place to sustain these activities into the future.
WHAT: Special Olympics national banner recognition ceremony and basketball game
WHO: Special Olympics Athletes and Unified Partners.
WHEN: Friday, March 3 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
WHERE: Harpeth High School - 170 E Kingston Springs Rd., Kingston Springs, TN