Schools & Special Olympics: a partnership that works!
Special Olympics Louisiana’s Schools Program encourages inclusion, participation, and leadership in students through the power of sport. This partnership between schools and Special Olympics Louisiana includes sports training and competition, inclusive youth leadership and whole school engagement for students of all ages.
Schools, students and staff can participate in this program on two different levels by becoming a:
School Games provide training and competitive sports options to elementary, middle and high school special education and adapted physical education students. It encourages youth participation, inclusion and leadership in local schools and prepares school age students for participation in SOLA sports opportunities beyond the school day.
Students score goals, hit game-winning baskets, and break through finish-line tape with their arms wide open during Special Olympics Louisiana’s School Games competitions.
School Games Sports Offered: Athletics (Track & Field) | Bocce | Bowling | Basketball
Benefits of Participation in School Games
How to Get Started
1. Get the Special Olympics sports knowledge
Find sports resources at: Sports Offered
2. Find and work with your allies
3. Develop and share your plan
4. Create opportunities for students to train for, and compete, in a culminating event
5. Make it sustainable
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are School Games so important?
Team sports bring people together, and School Games bring a real revolution to your campus! Activities such as sporting events, pep rallies, student volunteerism, and school-wide Spread the Word inclusion campaigns activate school leaders and change lives forever.
What impact does Special Olympics have on your campus?
Click here for additional research to support the importance of school involvement.
What sports are offered at School Games?
Currently, existing school programs participate in bowling or basketball for fall semester and athletics (track & field) or bocce for the spring semester. These sports ensure opportunities for students of all abilities.
What can School Games look like at my school?
A School Games season may align with quarters, semesters or other time frames. Training should occur a minimum of 1x per week for 8-10 weeks or 2x per week for 4-5 weeks. Training should focus on developing the skills necessary to participate in the sport(s) offered at School games. Training usually occurs during Physical Education class, under the guidance of trained teachers. A culminating event or competition is held at the end of the training period and may involve many classrooms from one school or many schools from one district.
What does Special Olympics Louisiana (SOLA) provide?
SOLA will work collaboratively with the school and/or district to provide consultation, education, support and assistance, which may include matching financial resources, sport-specific training for teachers and instruction and assistance to school administration.
What is needed to implement School Games?
A core committee of teaches and volunteers is the foundation for any successful School Games program. Resources needed may include: sports equipment, student T-shirts/uniforms, a location to host the culminating competition, support of high school student or parent-group volunteers to organize and conduct the competition.
Where are School Games currently being offered?
What opportunities for funding from SOLA to support School Games?
Take the next step by becoming a Unified Champion School and explore grant programs which range from $500 to $2500 depending on the activities you plan to incorporate into your school. Unified Champion Schools enhance the work that you are doing with your students and foster true inclusion in your school community. It is a winning combination for all involved!
How can students participate in Special Olympics community programs and advance to state-level, USA GAMES OR EVEN WORLD GAMES competitionS?
Students who wish to advance beyond school competition/programming are required to complete SOLA’s athlete registration process including having a valid physical on file with SOLA. Click here to learn more about how your students can stay involved.
what programs are available for younger students?
Young Athletes is an inclusive sports-play program for children ages 2 – 7 that prepares them for future participation in sports while improving gross motor, social and cognitive skills. It’s play wit
what resources do you offer for physical education classes?
Through our Unified Champion Schools program, Special Olympics Louisiana provides inclusive and adaptive teaching strategies for Pre-K through high school and beyond. Inclusive programming opportunities make early childhood fundamental motor movement, physical education and sports programs accessible to children of all abilities. Also, check here for Unified PE resources.