For the second year in a row, Mt. Vernon Middle School has won the “Champions Together in the Middle” banner from Champions Together--a partnership between the Indiana High School Athletic Association and Special Olympics Indiana. Earning this banner is not a simple task; the requirements listed for middle schools include the following: The school must form an inclusive leadership team to organize events, put on an event that engages the entire school to raise awareness, organize and participate in a Unified sports activity, and raise at least $750.
The Marauder Movement club in the middle school is responsible for putting on events for Unified Champions throughout the school year, while also promoting kindness and inclusion. Meeting biweekly, the group of about 60 students prepared to host two events in efforts to raise money to support Special Olympics Indiana.
The first event that the students put on was the “Boo Bash”. During this dance, the middle school students dressed up in Halloween costumes and were met in the Alumni Center with tasty treats and fun music to dance to. The funds raised from this event alone totaled over $800--evidently, the Boo Bash was a huge success.
The Unified Champions basketball game is the sports event that the Marauder Movement chose to host. Unified Champions athletes partnered up with the MVMS boys basketball team in a Black vs. Gold game. When asked about the game, Sarah Hall, sixth grade math teacher and a supervisor of the Marauder Movement, said, “The stands are always packed, everyone gets excited for our Unified Athletes, and our MVMS athletes are the most encouraging students out there.” The proceeds from the Black vs. Gold t-shirts that were sold during this game also went towards the donation for the Special Olympics.
Not only did the Marauder Movement club complete the requirements for the banner, but they also exceeded expectations by putting out videos on the MVMS news about Unified Champions to help students understand the cause. They also had an opportunity in March to sign a "Spread the Word to End the Word" banner. This promotes stopping the use of the offensive “r” word.
MVMS takes pride in the outstanding examples that the students and staff involved in the Marauder Movement set. Because of their dedication and hard work promoting kindness, all students at Mt. Vernon Middle School have the chance to feel included and appreciated.