New Jersey Regional Day School (NJRD), part of the Newark Public School District, is being honored by Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools and ESPN as one of five “ESPN Top 5” National Banner schools that go above and beyond for inclusion.

New Jersey Regional Day School is one of five Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® being honored by ESPN due to meeting national standards of excellence in the areas of inclusion, advocacy, and respect. With sports as the foundation, the three-component model of Unified Champion Schools (Special Olympics Unified Sports®, Inclusive Youth Leadership, and Whole School Engagement) offers a combination of activities that create school climates of acceptance through sports, activities, and advisories.

New Jersey Regional Day is a specialized school for children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) whose goal is to provide individualized evidence-based education to students with multiple disabilities.

When all students, regardless of their differences, engage together, everyone benefits—this is the cornerstone of inclusion.  As a specialized school for students with extraordinary needs New Jersey Regional Day School is intentional about ensuring all students are unified in their community!

The banner presentation took place on May 5 at 10:30 a.m. and featured host, and ESPN talent, Charly Arnolt, representatives from the Newark Board of Education, a special message from Senator Cory Booker, NJRD Advanced Student Band, and an original poem reading by student-author, Quayon Gaines.

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Watch the entire banner presentation below:

Everyone Different in Some Way
By: Quayon Gaines

Everyone different in some way
Either it’s visible or not
Everyone different
Having a disability shouldn’t stop you from what you wanna do
It shouldn’t stop you from succeeding
You’re just like all the rest
Striving for greatness
You might process slower
But at the end of the day
If you put your mind to it you will achieve anything
All you have to do is have a dream
And strive for that dream
People going to try to tear you down
Just because you have a disability
Just because you process slower
But it’s up to you to say I could achieve anything I put my mind to
So keep in mind
You could achieve anything you put your mind to
And prove to them you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover
Just because you process slower than others
doesn’t mean nothing is possible
You’re still capable of doing the impossible
Now go on strive to be the best

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