Unified Champion Schools MaY 2021 Newsletter Brought to you by the Special Olympics Illinois Unified Champion Schools Team

Warm, Beautiful Days Ahead

And we can't WAIT to get back out there! But before we do, we have a few things to wrap up this year!

Keep reading below to see more information about the following:

  • Youth Activation Committee Applications due May 30th!
  • Numbers Reports due June 10th
  • Register TODAY: Wednesday Webinar Series: Rob Oliver - May 12th at 3:15pm
  • National Banner Recognition Program Applications Closes June 1st!
  • Check it Out: Young Athletes School to Home Resources!
  • Recap: Unified Rocket League Tournament
  • Add to Your To Do List: Follow UCS on Social Media!
  • Virtual Office Hours
  • Respect Shirts For Sale ONLINE!
  • Tell us something good!
  • Meet the SOILL UCS Team!

Youth Activation Committee Applications due May 30th!

Unified Champion Schools is youth driven, with a Youth Activation Committee (YAC) made up of young people representing middle schools, high schools and colleges statewide. Members of the committee will work together over the course of the year to develop strategies promoting school communities where all young people are agents of change. During their time on the committee, YAC members will provide leadership to Special Olympics Illinois and Unified Champion Schools by participating in Special Olympics events, providing advice and counsel on strategies to reach other youths, engaging in and promoting Special Olympics activities in their home environments, communicating and networking via Web connectivity with other youth around the country, and reviewing UCS materials for innovation and viability.

The Youth Activation Committee is dedicated to bringing respect and inclusion to schools throughout the state. They commit their time to attend the yearly Bootcamp, Youth Summit, YAC meetings, Capitol Hill Day and to the promotion of inclusion and fundraising for the cause.

Do you know any Unified Pairs or students like to be a member of this committee? Have them fill out the application here!

This application is open for Middle School, High School, and College students across the state.

Students can apply here for the committee.

All applications are due by May 30th, 2021.

Questions? Contact us at ucs@soill.org!

School Numbers Reports Due June 10th!

As part of the Federal Grant we receive for the Unified Champion Schools strategy, we ask all of our schools to complete a Numbers Report at the end of the year.

All Numbers Reports are due by June 10th!

As you may have heard, our numbers report for this year has changed. That’s right! It is not the same old numbers report from years ago!

This Numbers Report should be an accumulation of participation from August - May/June.

To help guide you through the Numbers Report Process, we have recorded our Webinar for your ease.

You can find the webinar here.

You can also find the presentation here.

Last but certainly not least, you can complete your Numbers Report here.

If you have not yet completed your Commitment Letter for the 2020 - 2021 or 2021 - 2022 school year, you can do so here.

If you have any questions, contact us at ucs@soill.org.

Register TODAY: Wednesday Webinar Series with Rob Oliver!

Award-Winning motivational speaker and author, Rob Oliver, joins us for our last Wednesday Webinar of the year!

On May 12th at 3:15pm, Rob Oliver will share his journey, inclusive and motivational ideals, and self care tips as we wrap up the school year. Rob will leave you feeling motivated and ready to plan and tackle the next school year!

Register today for this great event!

If you have any questions, email us at ucs@soill.org

National Banner Recognition Program Applications - Closes June 1st!

The Special Olympics National School Recognition Program provides an opportunity for schools across the U.S. to be acknowledged for their achievements with inclusion and their partnership with Special Olympics.

Ten standards of excellence were developed by a national panel of leaders in education and Special Olympics. When the standards have been met by a school, it is eligible to become a national banner Unified Champion School. These schools will be recognized at both the state and national level.

The distinguished schools that achieve the standards will receive a vinyl banner that reads “Special Olympics National Unified Champion School” and will include the name of that particular school. These are similar to the athletic championship banners that hang in most school gymnasiums. Banners will be presented on an annual basis to schools meeting the standards for the first time.

All schools are invited to apply through the online application: https://specialolympics.submittable.com.

There are three applications – one for elementary schools, one for middle and high schools, and one for colleges. Each application asks how each of the ten standards have been met by the applying school. A school principal or administrator should be involved in the application process. Only one form should be submitted for each school. Schools must reapply for recognition every four years. Any school that originally applied in 2017 will be up for reapplication this year.

*IMPORTANT NOTE: The 2021 application is based on activities which took place during the 2020-2021 school year.

Applications close on June 1st at 6pm Central Time. From there, all applications will be reviewed and school notifications will take place between August and September.

You can find the application here!

Questions? Contact us at UCS@soill.org

Check It Out: Young Athletes School to Home Resources

We are excited to announce that the School to Home resources are now available. School to Home resources provide teachers with the ability to connect YA in the classroom with parents at home. A resource that was heavily requested by Program staff like you!

Each package of resources (1 package = 1 classroom) includes sport skills packets (Foundational Skills, Throwing, Kicking, etc.) which consist of the activity booklets, cards, and certificates of completion. In addition to these packets, materials for each classroom also include stickers, wearables (crown, party hat, medallion) and an interactive tracker. A digital customizable newsletter that the teacher can email home is also available.

To check out these resources in English, click here.

To check out these resources in Spanish, click here.

Questions? Contact us at UCS@soill.org

Recap: Unified Rocket League Tournament

On Saturday, May 8 Unified eSports held the very first in-person Rocket League tournament in Normal. After competing virtually for nearly a year, twenty two dedicated Athletes and Unified Partners put their high-flying, goal scoring skills to the test as they went head to head to see who would come out as the inaugural In-Person Rocket League Duo Champions.

Once the dust settled after nearly 25 games of Rocket League madness, PJ Broske from Region J, and his unified Partner Bryce Glancy, were crowned Champions of the very first in-person tournament. PJ and Bryce led the field during the tournament; scoring 80 goals between the two of them – While also showing their defensive prowess by denying over 22 saves throughout competition. Congratulations to PJ and Bryce, and all of the Athletes & Unified Partners who competed on Saturday.

To learn more about the Unified eSports program, visit www.esports.soill.org.

Questions? Contact us at ucs@soill.org

Add to Your To Do List: Follow UCS on Social Media!

We are utilizing social media as a means to get out the most up to date information and promotions for all of you and your students.

Be sure to give us a follow to learn about up coming events, virtual opportunities, raffles, and so much more!

Follow us on Instagram here!

Follow our UCS Facebook page by clicking here.

Follow our Young Athletes Facebook page by clicking here.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel here.

Questions? Contact us at UCS@soill.org

Virtual Office Hours!

If you have questions, comments, need support, or just want to touch base, join us on Thursdays at 10am! (Join Here!)

Respect Shirts On Sale ONLINE!

Yes, you read that correctly! We are currently selling our Respect Shirts Online!

We are selling BOTH Can't Mask Respect and Rally 4 Respect shirts.

We have 2 different styles of Rally 4 Resepct Shirts. We are offering a standard short sleeve baseball tee for $8.00, and a 3/4 sleeve baseball tee for $12.00. Each of the options are available in sizes Small through 4XL.

We have the Can't Mask Respect Shirt as a standard short sleeve option in sizes Small through 4XL.

Additionally, there will be no shipping for shirt orders of 10 or more! All other orders will incur at $4.00 shipping fee.

You can place your order here: https://www.soill.org/respect-shirt-orders/

Questions? Contact us at ucs@soill.org!

Tell us something good!

Share some Good News with us!

We want to hear from you! Share your success stories with us about distance learning and how you stayed connected during the school year! Please send your stories to UCS@soill.org so that we can share your experiences with the rest of the community!

Meet the SOILL UCS Team!

Regina Parnell is our Consultant for East St. Louis School District. Her role is to help Unified programming grow and expand within the district. She has work with the school district and served individuals of all abilities for many years but is new to Special Olympics Illinois. Regina can be contacted at reginaparnell@gmail.com.

Working with us in Region D is Melissa Garritano. Melissa comes to us from CPS and is currently the Director of Region D Outreach with Special Olympics Illinois. She is the contact for all Chicago Public Schools engaging in the Unified Champion Schools Strategy. Melissa can be contacted at mgarritano@soill.org or 773-517-5668.

Jillian Hosteny has been with Special Olympics Illinois since 2018 and is the Assistant Director of Youth Initiatives. Jillian works with all Pre-K, Elementary, and Middle Schools across the state. She can be contacted at jhosteny@soill.org or 630-426-1390.

Jennifer Kelso is the Director of Youth Initiatives with Special Olympics Illinois. She has worked with Special Olympics since the early 2000s and has developed the Young Athletes and Unified Champion Schools programs across the state. She currently oversees all High School and college programming as well as programming with East St. Louis School District. Jennifer can be contacted at jkelso@soill.org or 847-207-8997

Created By
Jillian Hosteny


Created with images by Allie - "Zoom software starting a meeting on iPhone and laptop during the pandemic stay at home order" • Jon Tyson - "Good news is coming"