Quarter 3 Highlights

We are so excited that your school has joined the inclusion revolution, and we can’t wait to continue the school year 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 March, we celebrated Spread the Word: Inclusion. We congratulate all participating schools in their creativity, dedication and Inclusive Youth Leadership on this notable campaign. This event always sparks deeper conversations, awareness, and respect for all students and staff on campus. Well done everyone!

More photos from the activities here.
Spread the Word >> Inclusion: Color Walk at Southwest Senior HS in Miami-Dade
Miami Beach Fienberg Fisher K-8 elementary students read inclusive books
with middle school Best Buddies students
Cypress Creek Middle School in Pasco County celebrates with a pledge banner
Component 2:
Inclusive Youth Leadership

Unified Clubs at every school level empower students and staff to achieve Inclusive Youth Leadership skills and commit to inclusion in their communities. Wondering how to start one at your school to fulfill this component? Check out this step-by-step guide!
More than 100 high school student leaders and faculty members turned out for the South Florida Unified Youth Summit at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on February 28. The event featured a day filled with inclusive leadership training – conducted in collaboration with the University of Miami’s Mailman Center – and a panel discussion with student leaders from Special Olympics Unified College Clubs at the University of Florida, Florida International University, and The Honors College at Miami-Dade College.

It’s incredible to see so many young leaders commit themselves to the mission of inclusion and acceptance. Special thanks to the Miami Dolphins, Florida Department of Education, the Office of Special Education Programs, Bank of America, and our amazing team for producing such an inspiring event.

More photos from the activities here.
The competitive Unified College Championship Week is coming up soon on April 10-14, 2023, where colleges and universities from across the country complete inclusive activities as a team.

These activities will bring together individuals with and without intellectual disabilities, leading to new friendships, mutual understanding, and more inclusive opportunities for people of all abilities on campus.

Several of the Special Olympics Florida College Clubs will be participating. Follow the challenge here!
Component 3: Unified Sports

Congratulations to all 12 FHSAA Unified Basketball Teams that competed in this year's 2022-23 season! 
Chiles High School (Leon County) and Fort Myers High School (Lee County) advanced to the Division 2 FHSAA Unified Basketball State Championships. Both teams competed hard on Friday, February 24 at the RP Funding Center, but Chiles High School took home the state championship with a final score of 39-23.
Vero Beach High School (Indian River County) and Hamilton High School (Hamilton County) advanced to the Division 1 FHSAA Unified Basketball State Championships. Both teams left it all on the floor on Friday, March 3 at the RP Funding Center, but Hamilton High School took home the state championship with a final score of 65-59.
Young Athletes, Little ELITES, Rising Stars and Motor Activity Training Programs continued to hold culminating events this quarter to celebrate their accomplishments and most importantly, have fun together! 

Contact us to make plans for your culminating events this Spring.
Meet the Staff at Special Olympics Florida
We are here to assist you with your Unified Champions Schools program.

Danielle Kent, Sr. Manager, Unified Champion Schools, Health & Fitness
daniellekent@sofl.org, 352-242-7770

Jana Arnette, Manager, Unified Champion City Schools - Jacksonville & Developmental Sports Programs - Northeast Region
janaarnette@sofl.org, 904-568-6681

Silvia Calderon, Manager, Unified Champion City Schools - Miami
silviacalderon@sofl.org, 305-561-3934

Angelo Cottman, Coordinator, Unified Champion Schools
angelocottman@sofl.org, 352-809-0405

Ashley Hernandez, Sr. Manager, Developmental Sports Programs - Central Region
ashleyhernandez@sofl.org, 352-250-8119

Lindsay Jones, Manager, Developmental Sports Programs - Northwest and Northeast Region
lindsayjones@sofl.org, 352-988-4503

Mary Kendle, Manager, Developmental Sports Programs - Central Region & Palm Beach
marykendle@sofl.org, 772-475-3588

Claudia Lequerica, Manager, Unified Champion City Schools & Developmental Sports Programs - Miami-Dade

Ken Lynch, Manager, Developmental Sports Programs - Southwest
kenlynch@sofl.org, 941-545-4601

Meredith Narayanan, Sr. Director, Unified Champion Schools & Developmental Sports Programs

Mark Thompson, Director, Developmental Sports Programs - South Region
markthompson@sofl.org, 305-926-1124
April 3 - June 5, 2023

April 10 - June 2, 2023
UMass Boston Annual UCS Evaluation
Survey - required completion dates - see email

April 22, 2023
FHSAA Flag Football Championships - Tampa

May 3, 2023
Registration opens for 23-24 Unified Champion Schools programming

May 17, 2023
FHSAA Track Championships - Jacksonville

May 18-20, 2023
UCS Youth Summit - Orlando - Registration is now closed