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“Nationals October 2019

Three AACPS schools earn distinction from Special Olympics

| September 27, 2019, 04:20 PM

When it comes to the inclusion of all students, three county high schools are among the cream of the crop.

Northeast, Old Mill, and Southern high schools have been named National Banner Unified Champion Schools for their commitment to inclusion through athletics and other endeavors. The schools are among just five in Maryland and 173 across the United States to earn the distinction from Special Olympics.

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The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program is aimed at promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting systems-wide change. Among those activities are inclusive sports, inclusive youth leadership opportunities, and whole school engagement.

“What these three schools – and all of our high schools – are demonstrating through our Unified Sports program and other initiatives is our #AllMeansAll motto in action,” Superintendent George Arlotto said. “The life-changing lessons our students are learning through programs such as this cannot be taught from a textbook. They must be experienced, and I am incredibly proud at the way our schools are offering those experiences to our students.”

Anne Arundel County Public Schools has implemented the Unified Sports program in all high schools and special centers. Teams are constructed in such a way as to provide training and competition opportunities that meaningfully challenge and involve all student-athletes. These opportunities lead to improved sports skills, higher self-esteem, equal status among peers and new friendships. The program brings all students together with a motto of “On the field we are teammates… off the field we are friends.”

Unified Sports programs offer tennis in the fall, bowling in the winter, and bocce in the spring. For more information about the program, go to www.aacps.org/unifiedsports.

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Category: Local News, NEWS

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