Special Olympics Delaware will unite with students in schools at all levels across the state on March 6 in a global movement of mutual respect and human dignity called “Spread the Word — Respect.”

Through the grassroots work of Special Olympics Programs, youth leaders and self-advocates, the Spread the Word Campaign has grown in the past 10 years, from an initiative in a few dozen schools to one of the most widely used tools for Special Olympics school engagement, currently engaging almost 4,000 Unified Champion Schools in the U.S. The campaign has now shifted from a singular focus on the “R-word” to one focused on broader issues of social respect and inclusion, especially given that in some settings the most urgent action needed for social respect and inclusion is to end the R-word, but in others it may be something else.

“The day is an opportunity for students in schools to rally behind the premise that respecting and including individuals of all abilities and backgrounds should remain at the forefront of every action and decision they make on a daily basis,” said Kylie Frazer, Special Olympics Delaware director of school and youth initiatives. “Fortunately, nowadays the majority of students already respect all of their peers, but the activities on this one day just reinforces for everyone the importance of treating everyone with respect and the inclusion of all members in school activities and in the local communities.”

Youth in all 50 states will coordinate simultaneous pledge drives, campaigns and educational activities through the “Spread the Word — Respect” campaign.

In Delaware, more than 155 preschool, elementary, middle and high schools, along with the University of Delaware and all of the Delaware Technical Community College campuses, will participate in the campaign through an array of activities promoting respect and inclusion.

For more, visit sode.org.