Students Across Missouri do their Part to 'Spread the Word to End the Word' for Special Olympics Missouri

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Throughout the month of March, students at more than 85 Missouri schools will unite their communities to Spread the Word to End the Word®, as supporters participate in the fifth annual ‘Spread the Word to End the Word’ Awareness Day, aimed at ending the hurtful use of the R-word (“retard(ed)”) negatively impacting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Throughout the month of March, students at more than 85 Missouri schools will unite their communities to Spread the Word to End the Word®, as supporters participate in the fifth annual ‘Spread the Word to End the Word’ Awareness Day, aimed at ending the hurtful use of the R-word (“retard(ed)”) negatively impacting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Language affects attitudes. Attitudes impact actions. Special Olympics and Best Buddies encourage people all over the world to pledge to use respectful language at http://www.R-word.org and build communities of respect and inclusion for all people.

The conversation about the R-word most recently garnered national attention in October 2012 when Special Olympics Virginia athlete and global messenger John Franklin Stephens shared a moving open letter reacting to the use of the R-word, which generated an array of media coverage and conversation about the use of R-word in society.

‘Spread the Word to End the Word’ is an on-going, year-round effort, created by students with and without IDD in 2009. The campaign continues to make great strides in the fight to eliminate use of the R-word because passionate supporters have created communities of respect.

More than 85 schools and thousands of students around Missouri (see the full list of participating schools below) will participate in ‘Spread the World to End the Word Day’ on March 28 to help eliminate hurtful language in schools to create more tolerant and accepting school climates. Special Olympics and Best Buddies ask everyone to join in the effort by utilizing new and updated activation materials and assets for 2013 that include:

  • A new video starring Special Olympics Missouri athletes talking about they are defined by more than just their disabilities, which can be seen on the Special Olympics Missouri YouTube channel.
  • A refreshed http://www.R-word.org website, with a focus on the grassroots stories told by supporters of how the R-word affects them and how others can make a difference, and also a brand new mobile optimized site for use on smartphones and tablets.
  • A dynamic and energetic new video on the power of youth and Special Olympics Project Unify in changing attitudes.
  • Activation ideas and talking points for supporters to share across social networks
  • Graphics for Facebook cover photos, blog or website buttons, printable flyers

Special Olympics Missouri reminds people to join the conversation on Twitter by tweeting @SOMissouri or using #IwillSTW in Tweets, and post on our Facebook wall.

Find a participating school near you:

Central Area:
Blair Oaks High School
Cole Camp R-1
Concordia High School
Cuba High School
Eldon High School
Fulton Middle School
Hermann High School
Holden High School
Knob Noster High School
Laquey Middle & High Schools
North Callaway High School
Rockbridge High School
Rolla High School
School of the Osage
Simonsen 9th Grade Center
Sweet Springs High School
Waynesville Middle & High School

Kansas City Metro Area:
Belton High School
Bridle Ridge Intermediate School
Center High School
Excelsior Springs High School
Fort Osage High School
Lakeview Middle School
Liberty Junior High School
Park Hill South
Plaza Middle School
Pleasant Hill High School
Riverside High School
Ruskin High School
Smithville High School
Truman High School
West Platte High School
West Platte Junior High School
William Chrisman High School
Yeokum Middle & High School

Northeast Area:
Mexico Middle School

Northwest Area:
Bishop LeBlond High School
Cameron School District
Lathrop Middle & High Schools
Richmond High School
Savannah Middle School
Trenton Middle & High Schools

Southeast Area:
Kingston High School
Poplar Bluff Senior High School

St. Louis Metro Area:
Antonia Middle School
Black Hawk Middle School
Buerkle Middle School
Central Visual & Performing Arts High School
Compton Drew ILC
DeSoto Junior & Senior High Schools
Festus High School
Fort Zumwalt East High School
Fox High School
Fort Zumwalt South High School
Hazelwood East High School
Hazelwood West High School
Hillsboro High School
Mehlville High School
Oakville High School
Rockwood Summit High School
Seckman High School
St. Charles West High School
Sullivan High School
Washington High School
Webster Groves High School
Wentzville South Middle School
Windsor High School

Southwest Area:
Carl Junction High School
Hermitage R-IV School
Lebanon High School
Monett Middle School
Pierce City Middle School
Republic High School
Skyline High School

About Special Olympics Missouri
Special Olympics Missouri is a year-round program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. More than 16,000 athletes participate in 21 Olympic-type sports throughout the state. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and experience joy as they participate in the sharing of gifts and friendship with their fellow athletes, their family and friends, and communities across Missouri.

Special Olympics Missouri is proud of our financial health returning 82 percent of every dollar back to program services. We are privileged to be recognized with these honors: Better Business Bureau A+ Charity Accreditation, Charity Navigator 4-star rating and an inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame – Class of 2013.

Thank you for trusting us with your donations, volunteer time and your goodwill.

Visit Special Olympics at http://www.somo.org. Engage with us on Twitter @somissouri; fb.com/specialolympicsmo.

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Ashley Dawson
Special Olympics Missouri
573-635-1660
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