Alamo Heights High School Recognized as a Special Olympics Texas Unified Champion School

By jacqueline beretta

Alamo Heights High School has been recogizned as the first Unified Champion School in the state of Texas.

The Unified Champion Schools program is changing the lives of students throughout the United States by promoting inclusion and acceptance of students with and without intellectual disabilities. More than 100 elementary, middle school and high school campuses throughout Texas participate in the Unified Champion Schools program.

Typically developing students participate alongside students who have intellectual disabilities – as peers, not as “helpers.” All students engage in self-advocacy, friendship, fitness and sports opportunities together, building relationships that help to change the atmosphere of campuses away from bullying and toward inclusion.

To be a Recognized Unified Champion School, a campus Unified Champion Club must:

  • Touch each of the core components of Unified Champion Schools (Inclusive Youth Leadership & Activation, Unified Sports and Whole School Involvement)
  • include both typically developing and intellectually disabled students on its leadership team
  • participate in at least in Unified Sports in at least one area: Unified Recreation, Unified Sports Player Development or Unified Sports (competing in Special Olympics local, area, state, national or world competitions)

“The Alamo Heights High School Unfied Champion School program is an outstanding example of what a  school can achieve. The AHHS Unified Program advised by Erika Guerrero and led by a student leadership team, meets at least twice a month to plan events they host such as a Unified 5K, a Special Olympics Pep-Rally and recognition assembly. The Alamo Heights varsity girls baksetball team trains and coaches Special Olympics athletes in player development style training throughout the school year. This year, Alamo Heights High School will host a competative Unifed Track event for Unified Athletes and Partners throughout the district to compete. Alamo Heights High School has created an campus culture based on inclusion and service leaadership.” said Alice Keller, the Director of Youth Initiatives for Special Olympics Texas. “We’re proud of the students, teachers  and school leadership, who have made this program a priority.”

Alamo Heights High School received a gym banner that denotes their honor.

Created in 2008, the program has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Until last year, the program was known in Texas as Meet In the Middle.

For more information, visit www.sotx.org/ucs or contact Alice Keller (akeller@sotx.org) or 512.491.2951.

 

About Special Olympics Texas
Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) is a privately funded non-profit organization that changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect.  SOTX provides continuing opportunities for more than 58,300 children and adults with intellectual disabilities throughout the Lone Star State to realize their potential, develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy and friendship.  To learn more, visit www.specialolympicstexas.org or call 800.876.5646.  Engage with us on: Twitter@SOTexasfb.com/SpecialOlympicsTX;youtube.com/specialolympicstexas. Visit the SOTX – Unified Champion Schools Facebook page at fb.com/UnifiedChampionsTX.

Statewide Year-Round Co-Sponsors: