Spring Highlights

We are so excited that your school joined the inclusion revolution this school year, and we can’t wait to see you back in the Fall with Whole School Engagement activities, Inclusive Youth Leadership opportunities, and Unified Sports. We encourage you to share this newsletter with your students and read these updates together.
Component 1:
Whole School Engagement
This year's annual Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Florida was a huge success with several stops at Unified Champion Schools with students and staff cheering on law enforcement officers as they ran through their route. Each year, over 5,000 officers carry the torch on a 1500-mile relay through 67 counties in Florida to the Opening Ceremony of our annual State Summer Games. Below are photos from Monroe, Hendry and Pasco.
Component 2:
Inclusive Youth Leadership

The 2022 Virtual Unified Youth Summit took place in early May and we were joined by nearly 100 Unified pairs and teachers/staff. Engaging sessions on volunteerism and Unified Sports development paved the way to learning about inclusive friendships, community engagement, and creating a culture of change and respect. Students are pictured here learning from guest speakers Jovita Woodrich at Volunteer Florida, and the University of Florida flag football team competing at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. Our Fans in the Stands poster making contest named Language & Literacy Academy For Learning #1!
This month, we feature a discussion topic from sports psychologist Dr. Micheal Jones for coaches, athletes, teachers and students to use in their Inclusive Youth Leadership programming:

Sports Psychology - Reward Yourself
It's that time of the school year for parties, awards, ceremonies and extra fun in the classroom, rewarding students and staff for their hard work in 21-22! But what about different kinds of rewards? A reward can be an object or an action to one person or a whole group of people for something significant that they did. Sometimes, we may not get a reward for everything we do. So, I'm encouraging you to make sure you reward yourself
when you do things and accomplish your goals for positive reinforcement. Having an effective reward system in place will help you through life when things are going well and when times are tough. Rewards and their memories can also remind you of special moments in your life. Rewards also support accomplishments. It is not about how big or small the reward is, it is the mental thought of receiving the reward that invokes motivation.

  1. What are some ways that your school rewards students, teachers and staff?
  2. Do you have any school traditions or team rewards after a competition or season?
  3. What brings you all together to celebrate? Does that motivate other students on campus?
Dr. Micheal L. Jones
Component 3: Unified Sports

FHSAA Flag Football - Five Unified teams competed in the Unified division of the FHSAA Flag Football State Championships at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on April 30. The teams were: Durant HS, Vero Beach HS, HB Plant HS, Language & Literacy, and Homestead Senior HS. Homestead Senior HS took gold in the Division 1 and Vero Beach HS took gold in Division 2. Congrats to all teams and our dedicated coaches and volunteers for a great season!
FHSAA Track - On Thursday, May 12, eight high schools competed in the Unified Division for the FHSAA Track State Championships at The University of Florida. The teams were: Homestead Senior HS, Lely HS, Chiles HS, Vero Beach HS, Key West HS, Treasure Coast HS, St. Lucie West Centennial HS and Spruce Creek HS.
For the girls 4x100, Lely took first place and for the boys 4x100, Homestead Senior took first place. For the girls 4x400 relay, Lely took gold and for the boys 4x400 Chiles took the gold. Congrats to all teams and our dedicated coaches and volunteers for a great season!
Young Athletes, Little ELITES, Rising Stars continued to hold culminating events this spring to celebrate their accomplishments and most importantly, have fun together! Congratulations on a wonderful year!
April 4 - June 3, 2022
UMass Boston Annual UCS Evaluation
Survey - required completion dates - see email

May 10, 2022 - September 2022
Open registration for 2022-2023
Unified Champion Schools program

June 5-12, 2022
(Unified Champion Schools and Young Athletes are invited to attend, volunteer, learn and support fellow athletes as Fans in the Stands.)