The Cherry Creek School District’s Grandview High School was named “Project Unify School of the Year” by Special Olympics Colorado, during the organization’s 2011 Hall of Fame Breakfast, held Sept. 13 at the Grand Hyatt Denver.
The award recognizes Grandview’s extraordinary efforts to build strong relationships between students with special needs and the rest of the student body. Last year, the school started a unified spirit squad and a unified basketball team. Both are made up of mainstream students and students with special needs.
Many of the spirit squad and basketball team members attended the Hall of Fame Breakfast during their homecoming week to accept the award.
“To be honored in front of the community was fun for them,” said Grandview teacher and spirit squad coach, Marcia Hoerl. “They realized the magnitude of what they’ve done at Grandview and what should be done everywhere.”
The unified spirit squad was featured on an episode of “Oprah” last year, and the unified basketball team participated in the State Unified Basketball Tournament, part of “Project Unify,” a unified sports program sponsored by Special Olympics.
The goal of Project Unify is to activate youth - with and without disabilities - in an effort to develop school communities where young people are agents of change - fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities.
That is certainly the case at Grandview, where acceptance and inclusiveness have become part of the school’s culture. Congratulations, Grandview!