BRATTLEBORO — As a Special Olympics Unified Champion School, Brattleboro Union High School is receiving national banner recognition for its efforts to provide inclusive sports and activities for students with and without disabilities. Special Olympics Vermont says BUHS meets national standards of excellence in the areas of inclusion, advocacy and respect.
BUHS will be celebrating the Special Olympics National Banner School status on Friday, from 1:20 to 2 p.m. at Natowich Field.
“We know the power of the work done through our Unified Champion Schools, because we see it,” said Special Olympics Vermont President and CEO Missy Siner. “Brattleboro Union High School has provided a wonderful example of the incredible benefits that UCS programming can bring to a school community. At 2022 USA Games, Brattleboro represented Vermont in the Youth Leadership Experience, and were role models to others participating in the program. The efforts made by Brattleboro to create a safe space of inclusion and acceptance for all students are exceptional and we are so glad they are receiving this deserved honor.”
Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools is a strategy for schools Pre-K through university that intentionally promotes meaningful social inclusion by bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities to create accepting school environments, utilizing three interconnected components: Special Olympics Unified Sports, inclusive youth leadership, and whole school engagement. BUHS currently participates in Unified basketball, bocce, snowshoeing and soccer, and is looking to expand offerings this school year. Brattleboro has also hosted numerous statewide events, including VPA Unified Basketball and recreational bocce tournaments.
“When I first started at BUHS, I was so impressed by the organization and school-wide support of our unified sports teams,” said Interim Principal Cassie Damkoehler. “Previous administrators worked to incorporate unified games into the daily schedule when possible. This helped to create the amazingly inclusive culture that we have here at BUHS. This award is really a testament to the hard work of our staff and student body.”