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Congratulations to Abraham Lincoln High School and George Washington High School in Philadelphia, Central Valley High School in Beaver County, and North Penn High School in Montgomery County for being selected as National Banner Unified Champion Schools by Special Olympics!  The commitment and quality of work done by their students, Unified Sports coaches, and staff in providing an exceptional Interscholastic Unified Sports program resulted in this prestigious recognition by our international headquarters.  Pictured above is Pennsylvania’s 2017 National Banner Unified Champion School honoree, Souderton High School.

Fewer than 90 high schools throughout the country are being recognized with this honor in 2018, and Pennsylvania is pleased to have four of them.  Additionally, our friends at ESPN see the value in the Unified Champion Schools recognition program and have agreed to participate with us in a special ESPN class of banner schools. Since 30 Special Olympics Programs from across the country participated in the recognition program this year, there are 30 schools in the ESPN class. George Washington High School was listed on their Top 30 Honor Roll!

To be selected for this national recognition, each school proved its commitment to inclusion by either meeting or or exceeding 10 standards of excellence developed by a national panel of leaders from Special Olympics and the education community.  Our honored high schools have an enriching and nurturing climate that exudes a sense of collaboration, engagement, and respect for all members of their student body and staff.  All of us at Special Olympics Pennsylvania are proud of their distinguished accomplishments! 

Our Special Olympics PA team will work with each high school in the coming weeks to develop plans for a schoolwide assembly this fall.  In addition to unveiling the Unified Champion Schools national banner in their school gym, the event will celebrate and showcase how inclusion, acceptance, and respect are integral to the student body.