Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative has partnered with Unified Champion Schools and Special Olympics Kentucky to host ATLAS (Accepting Teaching Learning Achieving Succeeding). ATLAS is a unified program for middle school boys with and without intellectual disabilities.
Unified Champion School Components
Whole School Awareness and Involvement: awareness and education activities that promote inclusion and reach the majority of the school population. All students have opportunities to participate through team or school-wide activities, and students with and without intellectual disabilities are involved with planning and leading awareness events with the support of an adult. Examples include Spread the Word to End the Word Campaigns (R-word), pep rallies or Fans in the Stands for Unified Sports teams, or a Unified Sports Festival.
Inclusive Youth Leadership: students with and without intellectual disabilities working together to lead and plan advocacy, awareness and inclusive activities throughout the school year. Examples include Unified Clubs, leadership classes, inclusive Student Councils, National Junior Honor Society, or similar types of inclusive student groups. The clubs are supported by an adult liaison and offer leadership opportunities or training for students with and without intellectual disabilities.
Inclusive Sports: a fully inclusive sports or fitness program that combines an approximately equal number of students with and without intellectual disabilities. Examples include Unified Sports, Unified PE or fitness, and Unified intramurals. These activities occur throughout the school year with the support of an adult coach and may include opportunities for competition.
ATLAS is a project which consists of middle school boys from different schools in the KVEC Region with and without disabilities that will work together in their schools to develop a shared focus of acceptance, encouragement, and friendship. These students will plan various activities throughout the year to foster inclusion and leadership with and among peers. This kickoff event being held at Twin Rocks Bible Camp in Viper, Kentucky consists of activities that promote peer acceptance and teamwork.