At a recent school assembly, Newport High School received the banner earned starting in the year 2017-18 in recognition of their placement as a National Banner School Unified Champion School from the Special Olympics.
According to the criteria from the Special Olympics, a school can apply and has to accomplish rigorous standards of inclusiveness. “A Special Olympics Unified Champion School has an inclusive school climate and exudes a sense of collaboration, engagement and respect for all members of the student body and staff. A Unified Champion School receiving national banner recognition is one that has demonstrated commitment to inclusion by achieving standards based upon the three over-arching components that include Special Olympics Unified Sports, inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole School Engagement.”
Jill Sellers, Education for Community and Life (ECEL) SLC Program Assistant, states, “Becoming a Unified Champion School shows that we respect and include all students in our school. It is important because it shows that we have an inclusive school environment not just for students with disabilities but all students no matter what their differences.”
At Newport High School examples of some of the many Unified activities include track (relay team), basketball, dances, clubs, leadership, physical education, surfing, among other activities.
The whole community can support ECEL programs by coming to purchase handmade items from the ECEL Program Bazaar Craft Fair running through December 20. Hours are from 12-2:45 PM weekdays at Newport High School and students are assisting shoppers. All the proceeds help to fund Unified programs and the experience gives local students valuable customer service skills.