On May 3, students, teachers, and staff from 17 Project UNIFY schools converged in Madison for the 2012 Spring Youth Activation Summit entitled “Takin’ it to the Streets”. The morning consisted of three sessions – Disabilities 101, Natural Supports, and the Athlete Leadership Program (public speaking). Each one focused on helping both the students and their teachers to be advocates in their own schools and allowed them to generate ideas on how to improve their school climates.
The afternoon provided an opportunity for students to make their voices heard as they put into action the skills they had learned earlier that day. Divided into seven groups, the students had the task of visiting four or five businesses on State Street to promote a State Street Spread the Word to End the Word™ day that would be occurring the following week. At each business, the groups introduced themselves to employees, spoke about Project UNIFY, and handed out promotional materials for the businesses to use the day of the campaign. All of the students did a fantastic job sharing and were an amazing sight to see as they came down the street in their black and green Spread the Word T-shirts. Through both their words and their actions, they made a difference in Madison and because of their hard work, 28 businesses hung up posters, handed out wristbands, and wore T-shirts on May 10. A huge thank you to all of our Project UNIFY® schools!
Going into next school year, Special Olympics Wisconsin plans to engage a total of 32 Project UNIFY Schools, K – 12, where sports, youth leadership, and school wide engagement are a focus in helping to create communities of respect, understanding, acceptance, and inclusion. To get learn more or get involved, visit the Project UNIFY webpage at: