Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics partner to bring inclusive programming to youth across the United States


Press release

Washington, DC, October 4, 2022 – Today, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics North America announced a nationwide partnership to provide inclusive club programming for youth with and without developmental disabilities during after-school times. The aim is to combat the barriers they face and realize new opportunities for social inclusion, leadership and healthy lifestyles.

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® is a strategy in more than 8,000 K-12 schools across the United States that intentionally promotes social inclusion by bringing together students with and without developmental disabilities. Working in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, whose mission is to empower all young people to reach their full potential, Special Olympics will harness the powerful work being done at the grassroots level to create inclusive spaces using the unified model. The merger of these two leading organizations will create new opportunities for systemic change for current and future generations of young people.

“At Boys & Girls Clubs of America, we know that safety and a sense of belonging are essential to a young person’s success,” said Jim Clark, President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “We are excited about our partnership with Special Olympics as they work together to expand opportunities for young people of all abilities to feel welcome and accepted as peers, teammates and friends, as part of a more tolerant and inclusive future. .”

Through this collaboration, Boys and Girls Clubs and Special Olympics programs will work together to provide training and support resources to support local partnerships. This in turn will help Special Olympics athletes to become fully integrated club members and communities to become more inclusive and tolerant.

“Today’s youth face many challenges, from personal and academic success to feeling emotionally and physically healthy and safe. Often, the school and social environment of young people is strewn with obstacles that hinder positive development. That’s what we strive to overcome with the work we do,” said Andrea Cahn, vice president of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools. “It is truly an honor to partner with a like-minded organization that is also committed to empowering and supporting young people in their efforts to overcome these barriers and build inclusive schools and communities.”

See for yourself the impact in Greenwood, Mississippi.

About Boys and Girls Clubs of America
For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has provided children and teens with a safe place to learn and grow. The clubs provide daily caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs during critical non-school hours. Boys and Girls Club programming promotes academic achievement, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. In a typical year, nearly 5,000 clubs serve 3.6 million young people through club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Indigenous lands across the country, and serve military families at BGCA-affiliated youth centers on U.S. military installations around the world. The national headquarters is located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America at Facebook Where Twitter.

About Special Olympics® Unified Schools of Champions
Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® is a strategy in more than 8,000 K-12 schools across the United States that intentionally promotes social inclusion by bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics Unified Sports ®, inclusive youth leadership opportunities and school engagement. The three-component model offers a unique combination of effective activities that equip young people with the knowledge, skills, tools and training to create classrooms and school climates of acceptance, respect and inclusion. significant. They are school climates where students with disabilities feel welcome and are regularly included – and feel part of – all activities, opportunities and functions. The Unified Champion Schools program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. Engage with us on: instagram, Twitter, Facebook, ICT Tacand Youtube. Learn more about

Media Contacts

Eliza Lynch
Boys and Girls Clubs of America
[email protected]

Kendra Cummings
UCS Media Relations Manager
[email protected]

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