Anchorage, AK --

 “Choose to include” is the mission of West Anchorage High School. West is one of about 75 schools across the state that has a Partners Club -where special education and general education students come together and compete in sports and activities throughout the year.

The aim of Unified Champion Schools is to incorporate Special Olympics sports, leadership and related activities that empower the youth to be the agents of change in their communities. 

"We get feed back on a very regular basis from students in partners programs, and the feedback is that it's the most fun part of the week. It's where they're making new friends and it's just where they're learning so much. It's a warm feeling for us and it lets us know that we are on target for encouraging kids to do the right thing -and the students just have a fabulous time," said Sue Perles, the President & CEO of Special Olympics Alaska. 

This year, ESPN honored only 34 schools across the nation for providing sports and activities for those with and without disabilities -and Alaska's very own West Anchorage High School made the "honor roll." 

"Not only just to have the recognition, but getting some idea that your school is being supportive and inclusive and working with every kid -doesn't matter what their ability or disability is. I think getting recognized nationally is pretty cool because we try to include everybody in our school," said Sven Gustafson, Principal of West Anchorage High School. 

©Copyright 2020 Coastal Television. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed