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NHS Students Participate in Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools Summit

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On Friday, January 20th, 12 students from Northport High School's Unified Basketball and Bowling Teams, Sparkle Squad and Best Buddies participated in the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools Summit, which is described as an inclusive youth summit for students.  It was run by Special Olympics and hosted by the Sayville School District.   

While attending, students participated in a variety of team building activities including a “getting to know each other” game with small groups where they threw a ball with conversation starters and had small group discussions.  They also participated in creating a leadership gingerbread man, where they identified skills they have that make them a leader.   

In between activities students were given background information on Special Olympics and how the Unified program started.  They also heard from a guest speaker, who was a young adult that continues to participate in Special Olympics activities even though she has graduated from high school. 

This is the first time Suffolk County has hosted this event since the winter of 2020.   

“It was wonderful to see our students, who represented multiple school groups, work together with other schools to further develop ideas that will promote inclusivity and make it more meaningful for all students,” said Transition Coordinator Cassie Reilly. “Meaningful inclusion promotes the understanding of each student's individual value and the mutual benefits for all that come from each relationship they are part of.  Northport students have done an amazing job growing our Unified Sports, Sparkle Squad and Best Buddies programs in just a short time.  They were able to show schools that are beginning this process how great it can be, while enjoying time with each other.  Our students volunteered, stepped out of their comfort zones, spoke to new people and came up with some amazing ideas to continue to growth and collaboration of these groups in our school community.”