Special Olympics at RB joins “Project Unify”

Special Olympics at RB joins Project Unify

RB’s Special Olympics basketball team gathers during a pause in the action to celebrate.

Marisa Jensen, Staff Reporter

On Tuesday, December 13th, 2011, Special Olympics hosted a basketball game against the rival Lyons Township Lions.  What made this game notable is that it was one of the first pack the houses of the winter season, and it was very successful.

Recently, the RB Special Olympics team earned recognition by being invited to join Project Unify.  According to the Special Olympics web site, Project Unify is “an education-based project that uses sports and education programs to activate young people to develop school communities where all youth are agents of change.”

RB’s Special Olympics program was added to Project U because of their demonstration of the key characteristics of this national program. Only one other school in Cook County and 16 statewide have so far been adeed to Project Unify. Project Unify was put together to create a school environment of respect and tolerance for all students, especially those with learning disabilities.

As a Project Unify school, RB is sending representatives to a local youth forum, participating in “Spread the Word to End the Word” movements, using the Get Into It Curriculum in health classes to encourage awareness, and hosting a Unified sports activity. This year, the RB Girls Basketball team will scrimmage with the RB Special Olympics basketball team. Because of all of these efforts, RB will be given financial support to purchase resources and materials needed to continue existing programs.

Project Unify is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and works with 42 U.S. State Programs. The project attracts more than 600,000 young people participating in projects in over 1,700 schools.