Please read the following before you select which initiatives you will implement in the checkbox question below.
Youth Leadership Committee
The Youth Leadership
Committee is made up of young people, where members of the committee work
together over the course of the year to develop strategies to promote school
communities where all young people are agents of change. The Youth Leadership
Committee uses a wide variety of tools to communicate effectively, such as
e-mail, conference calls, Facebook, state summits and state rallies to educate,
motivate and advocate for the respect, inclusion and acceptance of all people,
regardless of abilities.
SONJ held Youth
Leadership Summits bring youth leaders together for leadership training,
networking and team building. Youth Summits are held throughout the year,
across the state. The leadership activities done at Youth Summits help students
with and without intellectual disabilities find their voices by teaching them
to become change agents striving for respect and inclusion. Youth Summits are a
great place to plan what club members would like to do in their Play Unified
Club and plan what changes they would like to see at their school.
Adaptive Physical Education Class
The adapted physical education program includes the same concepts, skills and content as the general physical education program, however it applies differentiated instruction, teaching strategies, equipment and assessments specially designed to meet the needs of students with different abilities.
Play. UNIFIED. Inclusive Physical Education Class
inclusive P.E. program where all students have access to a fun, positive and
meaningful experience. Introduce an equitable peer partner strategy, where all
students participate as teammates and leaders. Professional development for
staff is available upon request.
collaboration with the NJAHPERD (New Jersey Association for Health, Physical
Education, Recreation and Dance) and the NJDOE (New Jersey Department of
Education), created a Unified P.E. elective course. A Unified P.E. elective
course offers general education students a Unified P.E. option for
Mainly for elementary schools, but can serve as Best Buddies or Partner Club to pair students with and without disabilities one-to-one for school activities.
Young Athletes is
an inclusive sport and play program for children with and without intellectual
disabilities and developmental delays ages 2 - 7 years old. Young Athletes
provides children with activities and games that meet their individuals skill
level and ability levels, while allowing them to play together in a fun and
inclusive environment. The program shows that all children should be valued for
their talents and abilities. Young Athletes can be used in the preschool or
physical education classroom.
is a new SONJ training and competition opportunity to meet the needs of
emerging athletes grades 3 - 6. By offering modified play and competitions, our
hope is to transition younger athletes and improve athlete performance for
intramural and interscholastic Unified Sports.
Campaign/Anti-bullying/Ability Awareness Fair
Organize a week
of awareness and Unified Sports activities, create a theme for each day to
promote your club and engage your entire school in building understanding and
Invite a SONJ
Athlete Global Messenger
Global Messengers are athletes trained in public speaking who then help spread
the message and vision of the Movement, as well as the benefits they have
gained by participating in Special Olympics. Global Messengers have proven to
be the Movement's most effective spokespeople.
Unified Club members to think of creative fundraising ideas to help cover the
costs of activities/materials not funded by this grant. Make posters, sell
treats, and get your school community and local community involved in
supporting your club activities and sports programs.
Challenge Polar Plunge
bragging rights - and other cool stuff - by participating in this school group
challenge at the SONJ Polar Plunge. The school who raises the most money will
be crowned "Coolest School" and take home the Cool School Challenge
trophy to be displayed at their school. Teams must consist of a minimum of 10
students and each team member must raise $100.
Fans in the Stands
Fans in the Stands is a program designed to promote unity and encourage students, friends and families to get groups together to make posters, banners or organize pep rallies for Special Olympics teams in their schools and communities.
Play Unified Club Intramurals
Take sports beyond the school day, and establish an after-school/weekend sports club where students can explore and play a variety of sports in a social and inclusive recreational setting. This is a great way to introduce students to team play and game rules in a less competitive environment. This option often works well for schools that are new to the program and need to gauge the sport interest and skill levels of their students.
Play Unified Club Intra-District
Create a Unified team from your Play Unified club that practices together regularly and then coordinate with other Play Unified schools in your district or area to organize recreational competitions.
Play Unified Club Recreation (Recreational Mini-Tournaments, Rec Night/Weekends, Unified Recess, School Unified
Students with and without disabilities play together with some modifications and mentoring. Recreational play does not follow any prescribed training, competition and/or team composition requirements.
This is a great
option for elementary schools. Get your students together on the playground
during recess and just let them play! It's a natural way to start breaking down
barriers and building friendships. Play Unified Club members can organize
inclusive activities and stations during recess.
Unified Game Days
demonstrate the skills your students have learned in Unified P.E., or offer a
fun opportunity for students to interact as teammates by hosting a Unified Game
day. These events can be done any time during the school year. SONJ often hosts
Unified Game Days throughout the year.
Unified Rec Night/Weekends
Once a week for 6-8 weeks, schedule a Unified Rec Night for pick up soccer, basketball, volleyball, kickball or any other fun inclusive activity. Host a culminating event at the end of the sessions. The Rec Night should be sponsored and promoted by your Play Unified Club. Unified Rec can be open to all ages and is a great way to also involve the PTOs and families in your district.
Unified Recreational Mini-Tournaments
Hold Unified Recreational Mini-Tournaments to add a bit of structured competition to your Unified Rec Nights/Weekends or Intramural teams. Mini-Tournaments can even serve as a fundraiser for your Play Unified Club!
Play Unified Club
Create a Unified
team from your Play Unified Club that practices together regularly and then
coordinate with other Play Unified schools in your district or area to organize
Championships are SONJ held state competitions in soccer, bowling and
basketball for high school Play Unified Club Interscholastic teams and College
Unified teams. The Shriver Cups typically have two divisions, one more
competitive and one more recreational. Schools self-select which division they
would like to compete in.
Interscholastic Unified Sports
Interscholastic Unified Sports are regional school and conference competitions.
SONJ, in collaboration with the NJSIAA, will offer high schools the opportunity
to send Unified teams to play in culminating events at NJSIAA State
Championships in select sports. As the first phase in establishing Unified
Sports divisions and events, these Unified teams should be organized through
your athletic department as school teams. Unified athletes and partners will
proudly wear the same school uniforms as other school teams and represent their
school in Unified Sports. They should practice and travel as part of school
teams as appropriate. Students and coaches will need to meet certain
eligibility requirements prior to participation. All students on the team will
need an athletic physical on file to practice and compete.