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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.

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                           

School Registration Form


Youth Activation Committee members

Youth Activation Committee

The 2020-2021 State Youth Activation Committee (YAC) will work on spreading acceptance and inclusion virtually in their regions, planning the Unified Day rally, and taking part in various leadership and speaking engagements. Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2020-2021 school year.

Polar Plunge Flyter

UCS Schools - Be a School Team:          Polar Plunge Registration Open!

Register now!

So, what is a “virtual” Polar Plunge? Participants will still register online, raise money for Special Olympics Michigan’s life-changing programs, do a cold weather challenge and earn cool swag along the way. 

  1. Register as a Plunger and/or Runner, and Create a Fundraising Page
  2. Create a School Team or Join a Fundraising Team (optional)
  3. Challenge others to BE BOLD & GET COLD for Special Olympics
  4. Plungers: Find a creative way to BE BOLD & GET COLD by the end of February: frigid water balloon fight, snow angels, dive into a snowbank, or any other SAFE idea!  |  Runners: Run your 5k (or walk / fun run) in a location of your choice!
  5. Share your photos to, and on our Facebook Page
  6. Keep raising funds and challenging others to "plunge" with you!

Sign Up to receive your Exclusive School UCS Plunge Starter Kit! 


UCS in the News

Howell High School Named to ESPN Honor Roll for Inclusive Efforts

Howell High School has been named to the 2020 ESPN Honor Roll for its efforts in promoting an inclusive school culture for students with intellectual disabilities. Howell 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.     


Special Olympics UCS Resources

Inclusion Revolution

Unified Champion Schools - What you need to know to get involved.

UCS Playbook Resources for Educators, Students and SO Programs

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.