Smithfield-Selma High School has received national recognition for inclusion!
Smithfield-Selma High School has received national recognition for inclusion! Among three other schools in North Carolina, Smithfield-Selma has been awarded National Banner status. Not only did SSS Unified get National Banner Status, but they were also were chosen to be on the ESPN Honor Roll.
Unified is a program sponsored by Special Olympics that encourages youth with and without intellectual disabilities to play, lead, and accept others. In order to receive National Banner status, an application was submitted to outline how Smithfield-Selma High School met the 10 national standards, including offering inclusive sports, whole school engagement, and leadership activities.
In the 2019-2020 school year, Unified pairs (those with and without disabilities) participated in basketball, volleyball, cheer, flag football, and soccer. Leadership activities included students and staff presenting for Principal Fellows from NC State University, Exceptional Children’s teacher in Wayne County, and Exceptional Children’s Directors across the state. A Unified PE class was dedicated to teaching collaboration skills as students from all backgrounds worked together to practice healthy living. Those with and without disabilities worked together to plan and implement Unified Club events. A Unified team raised over $1,000 to support Special Olympics North Carolina by participating in the Polar Plunge.
Even when school closures affected whole school engagement, students continued to meet virtually. Students and staff were featured in a Dance4Inclusion video that was posted on social media sites and the Special Olympics North Carolina website. Unified continues to include all students from the school population through virtual club activities for the 2020-2021 school year.