Forum for Inclusion

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Clifford O. Findlay Middle School in North Las Vegas is creating a more inclusive environment for students with intellectual disabilities at their school. Teachers nominated students to participate in the Student Leadership Summit where students were educated about intellectual disabilities and then the students had a guided discussion about ways to include their fellow students.

“The summit was a great way for our student leaders to meet other students on the common ground of setting a culture of respect on the Findlay campus,” said Edith Tatlock, an educator in the Autism Program at Clifford O. Findlay Middle School.

Findlay Middle School began their journey into creating a more whole school environment this fall by participating in Respect Week. Respect Week is a school-wide campaign where students take the R-Word Pledge and vow never to use the word ‘retard(ed)’. The R-Word Campaign and Respect Week are great tools for schools to engage students in recognizing ways they can end bullying on campus.

Special Olympics Nevada and Findlay Middle School are looking forward to partnering together to bring Unified Sports to their campus. Unified Sports is an inclusive sports opportunity for students with and without disabilities. Unified Sports is a great way to foster respect among peers by working together and competing as a team. We commend Findlay Middle School, their teachers, and students for taking steps to include and engage all of their students.

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Spring Valley High School Unified Soccer

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Spring Valley High School in Nevada sent two Unified Soccer teams to White Middle School to compete in the Special Olympics Nevada Secondary Unified Soccer tournament.

Special Olympics Unified Sports is an inclusive sports opportunity for students with and without disabilities to participate as equals on the same school team thus benefitting and unifying the entire campus. Special Olympics Nevada in collaboration with Clark County School District Adapted Physical Education department and staff are offering new opportunities to build skills and develop confidence.

Special Olympics Nevada Schools Partnership Program is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences.  Having sports in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away.

The Power of Inclusion

 

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Today, Chris is helping his fellow students in class at Clovis North High School. After completing his work, Chris bounces from group to group checking in on his classmates. Chris has grown significantly socially and academically in a short amount of time due to his participation in Special Olympics Unified Soccer.

This August Clovis Unified School District and the Tri-River Athletic Conference in partnership with Special Olympics Northern California kicked off their inaugural Unified Soccer league. Special Olympics Unified Sports is an inclusive sports opportunity for students with and without disabilities to participate as equals on the same school team thus benefitting and unifying the entire campus. Chris enrolled in soccer and began playing for Clovis North High School.

Teachers noticed changes in Chris immediately. Chris went from socially struggling to confidently engaging with his peers. For the first time, Chris is part of a team. Being part of a team meant that he was treated with respect by his peers because he was part of something bigger. Chris’s teacher Roman Gonzalez said, “Being part of a team made him shine and that is all driven by peer engagement”.

Giving students like Chris an opportunity to shine is why we provide Unified Sports programs. Chris’s family and teachers are thrilled with the changes. It’s more than pushing a ball down the field, it’s about being given the chance to be included and show what you can do. Gaining confidence is a skill that Chris will carry with him his whole life. We are looking forward to seeing Chris compete in basketball in the Spring.

 

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Tri-River Athletic Conference in Clovis

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We would like to welcome the Tri-River Athletic Conference to the Special Olympics Northern California Schools Partnership Program. The Tri-River Athletic Conference embraced Unified Soccer for their inaugural season with 6 schools participating in the unified league. Unified Sports unifies students with and without disabilities. It’s exciting to see unified athletes and unified partners playing together on the same field and fostering whole-school involvement.

The Tri-River Athletic Conference Unified Soccer Showcase was a huge success. The 6 schools that participated in the conference played their hearts out. Unified athletes and unified partners took to the field with their school uniforms, their own logos, and the same fanfare and celebration of any other big school sporting event.

The confidence and skill that this season brought are building blocks for the future. Soccer being such a big sport in Clovis, we are excited to be a part of it. After an extraordinary soccer season, we are all looking forward to the unified basketball league this Spring.

Read what the community of Clovis is saying about this momentous event at http://bit.ly/2faTGmw.

Durango High School in Nevada takes the pledge!

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October is National Anti-Bullying month and in Nevada Oct. 3-7th is Annual Week of Respect. The student at Durango High School ushered in this week of respect and anti-bullying by campaigning to Spread the Word to End the Word, otherwise known as R-Word Campaign. Nearly 200 students took the pledge to Spread the Word. The R-Word Campaign is a teaches awareness of hurtful words and actions that have no place in school or society.  The students made posters, signed their names, and promoted inclusion. We are so proud of the students of Durango High School and applaud them for taking the pledge!