Two Kentucky high schools have received the highest recognition possible for schools participating in the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program. Calloway County High School and East Carter High School (Carter County) were named National Banner Schools, signifying they have met 10 standards that include unified sports participation, inclusive youth leadership and whole-school engagement.
The two schools were among 131 schools nationwide to earn National Banner School recognition in the second year of the program, and they are the first two Kentucky schools to be recognized. In addition, Calloway County was named as one of 30 ESPN Honor Roll schools as part of the recognition program.
Both Calloway County and East Carter have been pioneers in the Unified Champion Schools movement in Kentucky. Calloway County recently sent two students to participate in the Youth Leadership Experience at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, and East Carter built a unified locker room accessible to all students.
More than 70 schools are participating in Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools programming in Kentucky, as part of more than 6,000 schools across the country engaged in the program. Special Olympics has a global goal of creating 10,000 Unified Champion Schools by 2020.