German American BankHighpoint HealthSubscribe today
Send us your school news!Ripley Publishing Company on FacebookIn the print edition:

• Versailles IGA • JayC Food Stores

CLICK HERE for a short list of articles

Ripley Publishing Company, Inc.

Home | Place Classified | Contact | Where to Buy | Archive | About
November 20, 2018 • Headline News
Tom Tepe Autocenter
Tom Tepe Autocenter
Friendship State BankWhitewater MotorsKing's Daughters' Health
Call 812-689-6364 to place your ad here.Send us your engagement, wedding and anniversary news

Pick up a copy of the newspaper your local newsstand.

Where to buy

Subscribe to the Osgood Journal and The Versailles Republican

Champions Together banners presented to South Ripley schools

Members of the high school chapter of Champions Together pose with the 2017-18 tag that will be added to the school’s banner that hangs in the gymnasium. Seventy-six members, along with 20 on the board, make up the high school chapter. Fifty-five students are a part of the junior high’s Champions in the Middle chapter, 15 of which serve on the board.

Jared Rogers

“She was just one person, but she made a huge difference in my life.” Andrew Peterson was referring to his speech therapist, as he addressed the South Ripley Junior and Senior High School studentry and staff on Tuesday, October 30. He encouraged listeners to be that one person in another’s life.

Peterson spoke eloquently before the assembly as a four-time national Special Olympics gold medalist in the 1500-meter run. Being abandoned at birth with fetal alcohol syndrome meant Peterson’s journey to the podium was adverse.

“I don’t want your pity,” he said of himself and speaking for other intellectually disabled athletes, “but rather, I need your respect.”
“No Limits Andrew” shared his story for the convocation being held in honor of a partnership South Ripley fostered five years ago with the IHSAA and Special Olympics Indiana called “Champions Together.”

The Champions Together program invites students with intellectual disabilities and those without to participate in fun and meaningful activities together. It was started by the Student Advisory Council of the IHSAA with the encouragement of Commissioner Bobby Cox. At the local level, Mrs. Brenda Strimple sponsors the high school chapter, Mrs. Belinda Mockbee and Mrs. Destiny Rutzel the junior high, and Mr. Greg Townsend of Ripley-Ohio-Dearborn Special Olympics coordinates with both groups.

“Nobody’s done it better,” emcee and advocate Craig Tornquist told the crowd. He congratulated SR on being a leader in the “inclusion revolution”: The idea that the Champions Together efforts can foster a culture of acceptance in schools and sports for every student.

Students are encouraged to take leading roles in Champions Together, and develop site-specific activities for those participating. Special emphasis is placed on “unified sports” activities which include everyone in the group.

Cady Garcia, president of the high school chapter, and Hailey Mills, president of the junior high, shared a few of the activities their groups developed in recent years: A unified bowling tournament, girls basketball scrimmage, fire truck pull, field day with elementary students, and basketball clinic all organized at the high school level, and a penny wars fundraiser, carnival complete with activities and games, and “dunking for a cause” dunking booth at the junior high school. Both groups expressed gratitude for local restaurants like Gold Star Chili and Subway for hosting fundraising nights for Champions Together.

Aside from the social-emotional rewards that come through inclusive activities, the reward for schools who meet the requirements set by the IHSAA and Indiana Special Olympics is an annual banner that signifies their efforts.

At the assembly, the high school was awarded their fourth banner, and the junior high their first. In the coming year, both schools seek to earn another banner, as well as earn a special banner that commemorates the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics, which was first organized by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968.

In addition to meeting fundraising goals, the South Ripley groups want to make the next year unique by trying new activities. Some preliminary ideas like a Zumba class and a life skills class were shared. “We need your participation,” Mills declared to her peers. “It takes a lot of effort to put your heart and mind into [Champions Together].”

Community members can support the SR Champions Together groups by participating in fundraisers held throughout the year and cheering at any unified events that the public can attend. As Andrew Peterson shared, “Always remember the lasting impression you can make on me and my fellow athletes.”

Ripley Publishing Company, Inc.
115 S. Washington Street, P.O. Box 158
Versailles, IN 47042

Phone: 812-689-6364 • Fax: 812-689-6508

Home | Contact | Where to Buy | Archive | About

© 2018 Ripley Publishing Company, Inc. | All Rights Reserved