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Special Olympics Michigan Unified Champion Schools is an education and sports-based strategy powered by an engaged student community that breaks down the barriers that separate students with and without intellectual disabilities. The Unified movement activates youth, engages educators, and promotes school communities of acceptance and inclusion where all young people are agents of change. It aims to increase athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities.

The three components of Unified Champion Schools are Inclusive Student LeadershipUnified Sports, and Whole School Engagement. All three areas are crucial to shift the culture of a school towards inclusion.



Here’s how you can help:

  • Plan an event any time during the year.
  • Join thousands of students throughout the United States in helping to Spread the Word to End the Word. Take the pledge to not use the R-word and encourage your friends at school and on Facebook to take the pledge.
  • Get a group of students and friends and support fundraisers like the Unified Champion Schools Youth Plunge or SOMI.
  • Join the UCS MI Liaison Facebook Community       


ESPN Top 5 Unified Champion School 

Waverly High School makes ESPN Top 5 for 2021!

Waverly High School has gone above and beyond to meet the 10 standards of excellence to become a National Banner School and we couldn’t be prouder. To learn more go to Congrats to the entire Waverly High School community. 

Congratulations to Waverly High School for being named an @espn Top 5 @speciaolympics Unified Champion School for 2021! We are so proud of the entire Waverly HS community for their commitment to inclusion.

A Catalyst for Change 

Inclusive Student Leadership

Inclusive student leadership is an all-embracing leadership club for every student leading their school in the advancement of inclusion.

Unified Sports

Unified Sports bring together students with and without intellectual disabilities as teammates training and competing together in inclusive sports.

Whole School Engagement

Whole School Engagement promote inclusion and bullying prevention to an entire school population through engaging, creative and interactive events.

We understand how important it is for Special Olympics Michigan to collaborate with educators to identify what role Unified Champion Schools can play in meeting state, district and individual school's strategic goals; whether it is promoting school climate, developing physical fitness, building character, preventing bullying; enhancing student engagement, or any other important school reform. 

A Unified Champion School has an understanding that this is not just an incident or event that happens for one day, or a single experience, but rather year-long in all seasonal activities. In a Unified Champion School there is an expectation that acceptance and inclusion are everyday occurrences that change entire schools and impact the whole student body.

   To learn more contact us at

                                              JOIN THE INCLUSION REVOLUTION                           

1.  School Registration Form

                                                               2.  Discussion with UCS Coordinator

3. How to Become a UCS SCHOOL - step by step 

4. Join the UCS MI Liaison Facebook Community

                                         Share Inclusion ideas, set up Events with other School Communities, 

                                                   Find Multiple UCS Resources, Endless,  Add your ideas

Unified Bocce on-site at your Unified School

Youth Activation Committee members

Youth Activation Committee

The 2021-2022 State Youth Activation Committee (YAC) will work on spreading acceptance and inclusion in their regions, planning the Unified Day rally, and taking part in various leadership and speaking engagements. 

UNIFIED CUP in Detroit MIchigan

JULY 31 - AUG 6, 2022



Special Olympics uses sports as a catalyst for inclusion in communities, classrooms, workplaces, and health care. The 2022 Unified Cup will show the world the power of sport to build and shape a diverse community that unites and empowers people of all abilities, from all backgrounds.



Summer Games Unified Day - UCS June 1st   Registration and Forms due April 21st

Unified Day will take place on Wednesday, June 1st at Summer Games!

Registration, Rosters and Forms are due April 21st.

UCS teams are welcome to come join for a day of Unified Sports and fun.

Click HERE for more information in the Registration Packet

UCS / UCCS Staff 2022

The SOMI Unified Champion Schools and Unified City Champion Schools are here to help you impact your students and your school.

UCS in the News

WAVERLY High School Named to ESPN Honor Roll for Inclusive Efforts

Waverly High School has been named to the 2021 ESPN Honor Roll for its efforts in promoting an inclusive school culture for students with intellectual disabilities. Waverly High School is the only Michigan school, and one of only 36 schools nationwide, to make the list.

Five Michigan Schools Receive National Recognition from Special Olympics

Five Michigan schools have garnered national recognition from Special Olympics International for demonstrating a commitment to inclusion.

State YAC members and U.S. Youth Ambassadors

State YAC members and U.S. Youth Ambassadors, Max and Sam, in the Unified Talks video. They will discuss the importance of practicing healthy habits for better physical and mental wellbeing. You're not just striving, you're thriving.

Unified Champion Schools Contacts

Unified Champion Schools Partner Organizations


As schools around Michigan and the nation strive for a culture of inclusion and acceptance within hallways, the MHSAA and Special Olympics Michigan continue to grow their partnership by building inclusive school communities through sports. To learn more about the MHSAA, click here.