Quarter 2 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.
Reminder: You've got mail! All Unified Champion Schools will receive curriculum playbooks and display banners shortly after they register for the program. If your school is missing an item or need a fresh replacement, please contact: Angelo Cottman.
Vinyl Banner
13 Florida UCS schools celebrated their achievements with banner reveal ceremonies during the Fall season. As part of the Class of 2022 National Banner Unified Champion Schools, each school met 10 national standards and was one of 164 schools across the country to receive this honor.



The application cycle for the 2022 – 2023 school year will open in April 2023. Here are the standards for your school level:
Starkey Ranch K-8 in Pasco County - National Banner Celebration
Component 1:
Whole School Engagement

This October, we celebrated Unity Day on October 19 and other fun theme days, per school.

We encouraged Unified Champion Schools and their students to implement this Whole School Engagement campaign with provided content and lots of ORANGE! Many schools incorporated inclusive youth leadership into the planning, activities, and creative artwork. Utilizing resources from PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center, students learned more about creative and empathetic ways to unite for kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.
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!
On December 3, we were thrilled to present the Special Olympics Florida 2022 Unified Partner of the Year Award at the Race for Inclusion in Gainesville. Congratulations to Will Munro – a junior at the University of Florida. He is the Vice President of the Special Olympics College Club at UF, and has served as a Unified partner and coach for flag football, basketball and soccer in high school and college. Last year, Will led fundraising efforts for the first Race for Inclusion in Gainesville – bringing in $52,000 to support Special Olympics Florida. His greatest contribution is the impact he has on Special Olympics Florida athletes. He is a mentor, teammate, friend and coach. We are so grateful that Will chooses to “Live Unified” every day by building deep, personal connections and making inclusion an intentional way of life.
A Unified pair from Tavares High School in Lake County has received a national KPMG Inclusive Youth Leadership grant. Tesa Hunter and Brooke Butts will work on district wide awareness of Unified Champion Schools opportunities with a key focus on creating flyers, giving speeches, and making new contacts at each school, including administrators and student leaders. Congratulations Tesa and Brooke!
A new session of our Unified health and fitness program Healthy LEAP will begin in January! Contact Danielle Kent if interested. Check out this video from Special Olympics Texas that explains the program.
Component 3: Unified Sports

Congratulations to the FHSAA Bowling Teams - Cypress Creek High School, Cypress Lake High School, Eustis High School (runner-up), Fort Myers High School, Golden Gate High School, Lehigh Senior High School, Lely High School, Mariner High School, New Smyrna Beach High School, North Fort Myers High School, Pine Ridge High School, St. Lucie West Centennial High School, Treasure Coast High School, University High School, Vero Beach High School (State Champions). Congrats to all teams and our dedicated coaches and volunteers for a great season!
FHSAA Basketball - 12 teams competed in league play games in November and December at various host schools with plenty of Fans in the Stands! We enjoyed watching the athletes and Unified partners play together for the first games of the season. Regionals are up next in early February!
Felix Varela HS vs. Lehigh Senior HS
Enrollment in Young Athletes, Little ELITES, Rising Stars, Motor Activity Training Program, and competitive Unified Sports is now open until February 1, 2023! Contact us to start your required inclusive sports component. We have school-based programming for every grade and ability level!
Palm Lake Elementary School - Orange County
It was a fun night on the gridiron on November 4 for the Unified College Rivalry flag football game. The annual Florida State University vs. University of Florida showdown included a fantastic halftime performance featuring the local Boys and Girls Club percussion ensemble. FSU took home the gold with a 26-18 win over UF.
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

Sophie DeAnnuntis, Manager, Developmental Sports Programs - West Coast Region

Ashley Hernandez, 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

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

Mark Thompson, Director, Developmental Sports Programs - South Region
markthompson@sofl.org, 305-926-1124
December 30, 2022

Now - February 10, 2023
Sign up now to participate in the free PlayVS Unified esports Spring Program (Rocket League & Mario Kart).

January 11-22, 2023

March 1, 2023