Special Olympics Arkansas honored Bryant High School with national banner recognition on Sept. 15 for its inclusive school climate in sports and activities for students with and without disabilities. BHS is the first and only school in the state to be named a Unified Champion School.
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 meeting 10 national standards of excellence. These standards were developed by a national panel of leaders from Special Olympics and the education community.
Bryant High School successfully met these standards with a focus on United Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole-School Engagement. Through the efforts of the school Partner’s Club, BHS offers Special Olympics Unified Sports such as volleyball, basketball, golf, football and floor hockey. Club members host pep rallies and volunteer at Special Olympic events. The group focuses on inclusion and building relationships between those with and without disabilities.
Last year’s Club president, Addie Richards, nominated the school for the very prestigious award. Bryant High School Special Education teacher Carolyn Hays serves as club sponsor.
Pictured: Club sponsor Carolyn Hays, Special Olympics athletes, Addie Richards, Partner’s Club officers, and Special Olympics representatives (CEO Terri Weir and Jennifer Grantham, Director of Field Services, Initiatives and Volunteers) unveil the banner naming Bryant High a National Unified Champion School.