Unified recap


It was a very windy day at #UnifiedSoccer Match Day, but for the athletes, it did not stop the fun! Our Unified teams showed out and enjoyed playing soccer at Bonner Springs High School! We would also like to thank the volunteers and everyone who participated! Our Unified Soccer Tournament will be held this Saturday, May 6th at Shawnee Mission NW Highschool. The tournament will start at 10:00 AM. If you have any questions, contact Reid at ellisr@soks.org.


The Wichita Bocce & Cornhole Resource Fair was a blast! Members of the Wichita community came out to play bocce, cornhole, and soccer. They also had the opportunity to learn about the resources offered in the Wichita area.


It was a beautiful day to be at The Inclusive Soccer Clinic & Resource Fair! Members of our KCK community came out to learn soccer skills from the KCKCC Women’s Soccer Team, ate great food from @a_j_molcajete, and learned more about the health resources in the KCK community.

Unified NEWs


The Unified Young Readers Club choice for May is “The Day the Crayons Quit” by Drew Daywalt. Poor Duncan wants to color but when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters from his crayons, all saying the same thing. They have had enough! They quit! Students are encouraged to look at the different ways the crayons stood up for themselves and then inspired to write their own letters about an issue that is happening in their school. Schools who are signed up will receive a free copy of the book and accompanying classroom activities. For more book recommendations or classroom lessons, email Caitlin at piercec@soks.org


AAPI stands for Asian American and Pacific Islander. AAPI is used to describe a diverse and fast-growing population of 24 million Americans that includes about 50 ethnic groups with roots in more than 40 countries. May is Asian American Pacific
Islander Heritage Month (or AAPIHM for short), first created by Congress in 1992. AAPIHM falls in May because of several historical milestones, including the 1843 arrival of the first Japanese immigrants, and Chinese laborers’ enormous contributions to building the transcontinental railroad, which was finished in May 1869. While celebrating the history of this diverse group is important, it is also important to raise awareness about the rise in hate crimes they have experienced and work to break deep-rooted stereotypes and biases by exploring the history they are rooted in! Click here to learn more! 

For more information, resources, books by AAPI authors, = resources for reporting hate incidents and more for Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month click here! 

Who might identify as Asian American? The U.S. Census Bureau defines a member of the Asian American population as “a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.”

Who might identify as a Pacific Islander? The Census Bureau identifies Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (NHPI) as “a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.” This map of Micronesian, Polynesian, and Melanesian groups, courtesy of the L.A-based organization Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), reflects who is considered Pacific Islander per federal guidelines.

Video: Ted Talk “I am not your Asian stereotype” Growing up in the US in predominantly white communities, Canwen Xu struggled to reconcile her American and her Chinese identities. She explains the unique ways that racial bias affects Asian Americans — and shares how she has learned to embrace all of the different parts of her background.


Luz Conde is a naturalized citizen of America and was born in the Philippines. She migrated to the USA in 1979 when she was recruited to work as a nurse in Kansas City, Missouri. Later, she found herself nursing for The University of Kansas Health System. 45 years of nursing later, Conde retired and decided to go back to PRN to help administer vaccines during the pandemic. She has a supportive husband and three wonderful kids. In her free time, Conde loves watching Disney movies and both she and her husband look forward to traveling since their retirement, but their continued involvement with Special Olympics Kansas stays strong.


Conde has been volunteering for Health Promotions since back in 2011 and was later recruited as a Clinical Director by her friend, and has served our athletes at least twice a year since. She has served as both the President of the Philippine Nurses Association of Greater Kansas City and the President of the Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City. While she is still very involved with these 2 associations, she also very much enjoys joining yearly medical missions to the Philippines.


Mental Health for Students and Individuals with ID

Do you need help finding a therapist for individuals with intellectual disabilities? Psychology Today helps you find a therapist in your area and you can use the filters to find individuals who accept your insurance as well as other preferences in a therapist such as what issues you are facing (i.e. ADHD, anxiety, depression, etc), gender, types of therapy, age, price, ethnicity served sexuality, language and faith. Psychology Today shares potential therapists’ profiles with contact information, bio, qualifications, and more! Click here to find help! 


Child Mind Institute offers on their website 44 children’s books to help kids understand emotional and learning challenges! These books cover topics such as anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and more! Check out the book list here!

Special Olympics Health Athletes Strong Minds (Emotional Health)

Strong Minds is an interactive learning activity focused on developing adaptive coping skills. Competition provides a natural opportunity to develop active strategies for maintaining emotional wellness under stress, such as: thinking positive thoughts, releasing stress, and connecting with others. Check out the healthy athlete’s strong minds website for guides, educational materials, and more resources!


Strong Minds events found that a large percentage of Special Olympics athletes in the U.S. face significant stresses on a daily basis, but have access to only a few adaptive coping strategies: 

– 12% of athletes report having no coping strategies 

– 62% mostly use avoidant strategies (e.g., not think the stressor), which is associated with increased depression 

– 26% mostly use active strategies (e.g. doing something to help themselves to feel better),which is associated with increased well-being

Teacher Appreciation Week (May 8th - May 12th)

What we do is not possible without our amazing educators! As a thank you we are providing the choice of coffee tumblers or backpacks to our teachers! We love our teachers! 


Teachers- email Caitlin at piercec@soks.org to claim your tumbler or backpack

Youth Activation Committee

We are recruiting for our Youth Activation Committee for the 2023-24 school year. This is an awesome opportunity for your top leaders to hone their leadership skills and promote inclusion throughout their school and the state.


Who: Students with and without disabilities who will be in grades 9-12 next year. We are looking for students who are strong leaders, comfortable with working in groups, have the ability to attend monthly meetings either in person or through Zoom, and can work with peers of all ability levels. Students can apply in a Unified Pair or individually, we prefer Unified pairs but know this is not always possible at certain times. We are accepting applicants from all over the state!


What: Our Youth Activation Committee meets monthly to provide feedback to SOKS, help us plan inclusion campaigns, plan and lead Youth Summits, and volunteer at events. We also work on leadership skills and public speaking. It is a big time commitment, but an amazing learning experience.


How to Apply: Students will be asked to fill out an application and list a mentor that I can reach out to for more information. Filling out an application does not guarantee that they will be chosen. Students can apply as a Unified Pair or individually, there are two separate applications for each circumstance. Applications are due June 1 and students will be notified of their acceptance by June 30. Our orientation will be in July.


Individual Application: https://forms.gle/EroV3Am99J4RvwZd6
Unified Pair Application: https://forms.gle/CVPwuYwSbZ62ey4T6



May 6th from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM Shawnee Mission Northwest High School 12701 W 67th Street, Shawnee, KS


Special Olympics Kansas | 5280 Foxridge Dr. Mission, KS 66202