Wal-Mart and Special Olympics Idaho A Long-Time Partnership
WALMART ASSOCIATES WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Special Olympics Idaho is honored to be selected as a candidate for the 2012 Walmart Associate Choice Program. For many years Walmart’s support has allowed Special Olympics Idaho to help individuals with intellectual disabilities. Walmart’s contributions have helped to give all 3,000 Special Olympics Idaho Athletes access to free hearing, vision, dental, feet and physical therapy screenings, as well as nutritional general health information. Walmart’s contributions have also funded new outreach programs in Idaho Schools including the Unified Sports Program which teams people with and without intellectual disabilities together in training and competition and Project Unify.
Walmart associates can continue to enrich the lives of Special Olympics athletes by voting for Special Olympics Idaho in the 2012 Wamart Associate Choice Program. Voting takes place June 30 through August 6, 2012, at www.mywalmart.com.
Special Olympics Idaho has learned over its 40+ year history that the skills we foster — and the principles by which we run our programs — profoundly improve the lives of people with an intellectual disability in far more ways than health and physical fitness. Our athletes gain skills that engage them in our community in many ways: the ability to find employment, to develop friendship, to take leadership roles within their schools. Our experience has inspired us to continue to work toward achieving comprehensive, systemic change for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Idaho, like Walmart, is committed to making a positive impact in communities throughout Idaho, particularly now with school children through our education initiatives and sports programming. If Special Olympics Idaho is chosen as the recipient of the Associates Choice Award, Walmart Associates will be directly helping students with and without a disability to work together to improve school climate and culture for all students through Special Olympics’ Project Unify.®
Special Olympics Idaho was selected by the national organization (Special Olympics International) as one of only 11 states across the nation to be a model program for other state programs to emulate for its implementation of Project Unify®. This comprehensive program is proving tremendously successful at effecting positive change in school climate, including changing attitudes and increasing participation by young people with and without an intellectual disability on many school projects. Project Unify® is part of our Unified Sports® program, expanding inclusive sports opportunities in schools. The program pairs Special Olympics athletes with peers without intellectual disabilities, and today, we have more than 500 Unified Sports® Partners paired with our athletes across the state. In addition to creating more understanding among students in the sports activities, Project Unify® also incorporates other school events that bring kids together. Spread the Word to End the Word is a program aimed at eliminating the “R-word” (retarded), by kids towards others. The campaign is nationally promoted and there have been public service announcements on prime time television. The program also plans school rallies as another avenue by which whole student bodies are supporting our Unified Sports® teams.
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