We look forward to supporting your school in becoming a Unified Champion School! If your school is interested in applying for 2021-2022 Unified Champion Schools Program Funds from Special Olympics New Jersey, and is not already receiving funding, the first step is to complete application form below.

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), Rowan University (RU) and Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) are pleased to present the application for  2021-2022 Unified Champion Schools Program Funding. This is Year 2 of a 5-year collaboration among the NJDOE, RU and SONJ that will assist school districts across the state in developing school-based programming through Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools which includes, Inclusive Youth Leadership, Unified Sports and PE, Whole School Engagement, and professional development activities.


As we move into the 2021-2022 school year with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement, we encourage schools to use this funding to build positive, supportive relationships, and offer opportunities for sports, activities, clubs. UCS strategies and resources can be used to foster meaningful interactions and the social and emotional supports students need to continue to thrive and grow. In addition to typical UCS expenditures, funding may be used for a variety of UCS activities and programs. We encourage you to be creative and collaborative!


Applicants may contact SONJ staff at with questions or for technical assistance, as well as, help with program planning and implementation. Please contact us with questions regarding the online application submission.

If you are a returning school, you may notice differences in the application - this is to account for our additional funding and less restrictive spending parameters. However, there is no substantive change.

Thank you,

Carolyn Marano

Director of Inclusive Education

UCS Partnership Agreement


As the recipient of UCS Program Funds, your district/school agrees to:

·       Identify a School Leadership Team and School Liaison to support implementation and

       communication with SONJ.

·       Plan and/or Implement at least one activity in all three Unified Champion School components, including Unified Sports, establishing a Unified Club and holding a Whole School Engagement event.  

·        Provide regular monthly reports to SONJ highlighting progress and participation numbers, as well as a mid-term and final report by stated deadlines.

·        Develop and move toward a long-term sustainability plan to to ensure Unified programs will continue without SONJ grant support.

·        Participate in professional development opportunities offered by SONJ.

·        Carry out at least one fundraising activity, such as the Cool School Challenge Polar Plunge or a school-based fundraiser.

·        Send a Unified Club Advisor and a minimum of 2 youth leaders to one SONJ Youth Leadership Summit.

·        Hold at least one School Leadership Team meeting for 2021-2022.

·       Complete and adhere to approved budget and follow the acceptable spending guidelines outlined in Funding Award Letter.

Person Completing Form

Please kindly check the spelling of your email before continuing to the application.

Program Funding Application Cover Sheet

District & School(s) Information, School Leadership Team(s)

District Information


Establishing a School/District Leadership Team is essential to the success of a Unified Champion School program. In order for your application to be considered complete, you must include contact information for the Superintendent OR Assistant Superintendent, the Director of Athletics OR Director of Health & Physical Education AND the Director of Special Services. Therefore, you will need at least three contacts completed in this section. 

Please enter the contact information for the individual who will serve as your School or District Liaison. This individual will be the main contact with SONJ, be aware of all Unified Champion Schools related activities and ensure reporting is done on time.

District Liaison


Director of Athletics

Director of Special Services

Additional District Contact

School Information

School Leadership Team


Please complete the following for each school included in your application. 

As part of your application, you are required to put a School Leadership Team in place. School Leadership Teams can include the School Liaison, Unified Club Advisor, Principal and faculty from one or more of the following departments: Athletics/P.E., Special Services, General Education, Anti-bully/School Safety/Guidance, etc. Anytime possible draw on other SLTs in your building.

In order for your application to be complete, please include contact information for the School Liaison, Principal, an Athletics/P.E. member, a Special Services member and at least one additional member. 

If you have additional members at this time, please include that in the Additional Member(s) section. 


School Leadership Team
School Liaison

The School Liaison is the primary contact with SONJ and the School Leadership Team, coordinating school planning and implementation of Unified Leadership, Unified Sports and Whole School Engagement programs in their school. The liaison can also serve as a Unified Club Advisor and/or Unified Sports Coach and is responsible for ensuring all reports required are submitted to SONJ. 


Athletics/P.E. Member

Special Services Member

Additional School Contact

Please Note: The Unified Club Advisor is in charge of activities related to the school's Unified Club. The Club Advisor ensures the club meets at least once a month for at least 8 months of the school year. Club Advisors support youth leaders in organizing their activities, Choose to Include Week and attend Youth Summits. Club Advisors ensure the three components of a Unified Champion School (Unified Sports, Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole School Engagement) are being planned and implemented. 

If you do not have an Advisor at the time of this application, you will need to  provide a name and contact information in the fall.
School Project Initiatives

Project Description

Please complete the Project Description questions provided below in a WORD document. PDFs and Google Docs cannot be uploaded. Once completed, please SAVE and UPLOAD the file below to submit it as part of your application. 

District applicants can complete ONE Project Description document with the specific goals and objectives for each school that will be uploaded to each online form. 

Below are the Project Description questions you are required to answer. Please copy and paste the questions below into a Word document to complete:
  1. Please summarize your Unified Champion Schools goals for 2021-2022. How will UCS activities lead to greater equity and inclusion in your school community?
  2. Briefly describe the special needs population in your school that will be participating as Unified youth leaders and athletes.
  3. How do you plan to implement your Unified Club and Inclusive Youth Leadership? What support will you provide your students in carrying out their Unified programs?
  4. How will you fulfill the Unified Sports component (Unified PE, fitness, recreation, competition)? What sports will you participate in? What challenges do you anticipate? How will you address them?
  5. What is your plan for engaging your whole school? How will you incorporate the Choose to Include Week campaign?
  6. Do you plan on collaborating or playing other schools in your district or area? If so, explain how.
  7. Is your school currently involved in a Special Olympics New Jersey traditional training program?
  8. Describe your plan for making your UCS programs sustainable. How will you support the Unified Champion School activities when SONJ funding ends?
  9. What are your plans for fundraising? Will you participate in the Cool School Challenge Plunge?


Coach Stipends

Coach Stipends - We are no longer stipulating $1,500 for coaching stipends. We ask each applicant to work within their school pay structure and rates to determine the appropriate levels between a club/intramural coach and an interscholastic coach for example. When estimating your coaching fees for the grant, please understand we do not have enough funding to support full coaching fees for any one school to conduct more than one sport.
Adviser Stipends

Adviser Stipends - $500 for one adviser per school club for one school year.

Transportation - to and from Unified Sports practices and competitions, as well as SONJ Youth Summits or events. This does not include transportation to Unified Game Days or non-approved Unified trips.
Facility Rental

Facility Rental - for developmental, recreational or competitive Unified Sports and youth leadership events.

Fees - costs related to running or participating in Unified Sports, or events directly related to the Play Unified movement.

Supplies - club activity and sports supplies; limited at $500 per school.

T-shirts - club shirts for only the members of your Play Unified club. Respect Campaign shirts are provided outside your grant by SONJ, up to 50 shirts. Additional Respect Campaign shirts over 50 will be charged to your grant. Grant T-shirt funds cannot pay for T-shirts for fundraisers or to be sold.

Equipment - directly related to your Unified Sports and Inclusive Physical Education program. The grant does not pay for capital equipment.
Posters or Banners

Posters or Banners - to be used for Play Unified club activities.

Water/Snacks - for Unified Sports events and club meetings; all food purchases MUST be pre-approved by SONJ.

Uniforms - for Play Unified school-based sports only, not to be used for SONJ LTP (Local Training Program) programs. We are not able to reimburse any additional apparel purchases for sweatshirts, sweatpants, etc.
Total Amount Requested

This is the total amount your school is requesting from Special Olympics New Jersey.
Program Cost Share

Program Cost Share - any contribution your school makes to the Play Unified initiatives including space, maintenance, officials, food, uniforms, t-shirts, equipment, etc.

Please Note: Program Cost Share amount does not impact the Total Amount Requested.
Total Budget

This is the full budget for your program (including program cost share).

Application timeline:

Application and budget planning with School Leadership Teams

August 31
Application due (If you need an extension please contact us)