South View Middle School is a Special Olympics Unified Champion School in Edina, Minnesota. When Unified programs first arrived at South View, first-year teacher Jenni Schaefer was initially overwhelmed. But her students quickly embraced inclusion and began to drive the programming.

Today, the spirit of inclusion is “palpable.” According to PE teacher Colin Bender, because of Unified programming, South View “isn’t a building: It’s a community.” South View is empowering a generation of student leaders to ensure students of all abilities feel welcome and included.

Special Olympics Minnesota knows educators want every student to thrive, and we’re here to help! Learn about Special Olympics Minnesota’s Unified Champion Schools programming or reach out to [email protected] for more information.

Teachers and students from South View Middle School in Edina, MN are interviewed about what Unified programming means to them and how it has benefitted their school community. Some clips show Annabelle, a student with IDD, smiling and interacting with her peers while a teacher talks about how much Unified programming has helped her come out of her shell. Other footage shows students during a Unified PE class and playing together.