Lexington, S.C. — Meadow Glen Middle School, a Special Olympics Unified Champion School, will receive National Banner Unified Champion School status on Thursday, December 19, for its efforts to provide inclusive sports and activities for students with and without disabilities.
A Special Olympics Unified Champion School creates 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 demonstrated a commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 national standards of excellence 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.
The award presentation takes place on Thursday, December 19, at 8:30 a.m. in the school’s gymnasium. The school is located at 440 Ginny Lane, Lexington, SC 29072.
During the award presentation, Meadow Glen Middle will receive a banner to hang in their school. South Carolina Special Olympics will also add MGMS to a list of other schools around the country achieving this distinguished status.
Research conducted by the Center for Social Development and Education (CSDE) at the University of Massachusetts Boston found that:
84% of students regard participation in the program as a turning point in their lives.
72% of involved teachers believe participation in the program has increased the confidence of students with disabilities.
88% of involved teachers credit the program with reducing bullying and teasing in their schools.
More than 300 schools currently participate in the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program in South Carolina, part of more than 6,500 schools across the country. Special Olympics set a global goal of creating 10,000 Unified Champion Schools by 2020.