2012-03-01 / Entertainment

All Encouraged To Sign Spread The Word To End The Word Pledge

…and wear local SOPA colors green and blue to show support to our athletes

Special Olympics Pennsylvania Fulton County would like to encourage everyone to join with them March 7, 2012, to Spread the Word to End the R-Word.

Spread the Word to End the Word™ is an ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Best Buddies and their supporters to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard( ed)” and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word.

The campaign, created by youths, is intended to engage schools, organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support at www.r-word.org and to promote the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The official annual day of awareness will be held Wednesday, March 7. While most activities are centered on or near that annual day in March, people everywhere can help spread the word throughout their communities and schools year-round thru pledge drives, youth rallies and online activation.

Spread the Word to End the Word was founded by college students Soeren Palumbo (Notre Dame 2011) and Tim Shriver (Yale 2011) in 2009, and continues to be led by passionate young people, Special Olympics athletes and Best Buddies participants across the United States and in many other parts of the world.

Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. However, much of society does not recognize the hurtful, dehumanizing and exclusive effects of the word “retard(ed).” It is time to address the minority slur “retard(ed)” and raise the consciousness of society to its hurtful effects.

All three county schools will be participating by having students sign large banners. They will also educate the children through morning announcements and a YouTube video.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) provides year-round sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities; a cognitive delay, or a development disability, that is, functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.specialolympics.com.

Fulton County meetings are held the third Tuesday of every month at the Mc- Connellsburg Alumni & Friends at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. If you are interested in coaching this sport, or would like to volunteer please contact local manager, Mindi Graham at 717-816-5771.

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