Young Athletes is an innovative sports play program that introduces children ages two to seven years old, with and without intellectual disabilities to the world of sports. Introducing Young Athletes to children in early education creates an inclusive school where kids can be themselves and learn to play with others of all abilities.
As a Young Athletes School you agree to participate in the following initiatives:
- Host Young Athletes in your school for students between the ages of 2-7
- Your Young Athletes program will be Unified (students with and without intellectual disabilities participating together)
- Participate in Respect Day with students or host the PACER Center COUNT ME IN® Puppet Show (Twin Cities locations only)
- Commit one teacher/faculty to as a Site Coordinator (a point of contact for Special Olympics Minnesota staff)
- Young Athletes is officially approved as an inclusive program within the school and is supported by the appropriate administration/faculty
It is understood that Special Olympics Minnesota will provide:
- Training, equipment, and resources to Site Coordinator
- Support to Site Coordinator throughout school year
- Updates on new resources developed for Young Athletes
- Leadership training and networking for Site Coordinators at annual Young Athletes Network meeting
- Materials for Respect Day
- Payment and set-up of PACER Center COUNT ME IN® Puppet Show
Please fill out this Young Athletes Letter of Intent to participate for the school year and to become eligible for Young Athletes training, equipment, and resources. This letter is a formal expression of your school's commitment to inclusion, acceptance and respect of all students through the implementation of Young Athletes.
Young Athletes is made possible by generous donors, a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and Dairy Queen. An important requirement for all grantees is to provide activity reports including participating numbers. Please share with your Special Olympics Minnesota staff the total number of participants in your school with a breakdown of those diagnosed with an intellectual disability (if known).
*There are no ratios for schools to have a certain number of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities in order to host Young Athletes.
Required information is in bold