MASC – Special Olympics Missouri Partnership

Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) has been the state charity of choice for the Missouri Association of Student Councils and its members for 25 years. MASC’s relationship with SOMO presents member schools with an opportunity for service and a connection to an organization that holds events across the state. The partnership with SOMO has made MASC a leader in promoting social inclusion, acceptance and respect of all individuals.

MASC schools across the state provide an average of 12,000 volunteer hours each year and host many Special Olympics events and services. MASC made a concentrated effort in 2009 to promote Polar Plunge as an activity to participate in and raise money. Since then, MASC member schools have raised over $1,000,000 for Special Olympics with nearly 6,500 students and advisors taking the plunge.

Special Olympics athletes in Missouri are also able to attend Summer Leadership Workshop as Level 2 delegates through the SOMO Youth Activation Council (YAC) program. SOMO YAC is a member of MASC, is recognized as a student council and sends athletes as delegates with adult chaperones, most of whom have been MASC alumni. All students have benefited by this partnership and the SOMO YAC presence has become an integral part of the Level 2 program.

In 2013, MASC received the Special Olympics Missouri Award of Excellence. This is the highest organizational honor their board bestows on an individual or organization for their years of service and impact on the SOMO program. MASC is proud to call Special Olympics Missouri a friend and the partnership gives MASC the opportunity to educate the leaders of our future to be agents of change, fostering respect and dignity through service to others.

We recently celebrated our 25th anniversary with SOMO at the 2016 State Convention. Read more about that celebration here.

In 2017, MASC celebrated the million dollar milestone in partnership with Special Olympics. Since 2009, MASC has raised more than $1,000,000 to benefit Special Olympics Missouri. See the video below to watch the announcement.

Additional information about the MASC – SOMO partnership on the SOMO website here.
See more about MASC receiving the SOMO Award excellence here.
Read a profile of the MASC – SOMO partnership on the SOMO blog here.

Apply to be a Special Olympics Missouri School of Character here.

Check out this video about how we reached the million dollar milestone:

Special Olympics Resources

Play Unified

2015 – Merchandise will be available for purchase (and for FREE: click here for details) through our online order form: Send us your pictures and stories from your events so we can see what an impact you are making in your school and community!

2016 & beyond – You will have to qualify for free merchandise by participating in our School of Character program. Details of this program can be found online at You will still be able to purchase items above and beyond any free merchandise you receive, and purchases will be open to all schools (see School of Character rules to see how you qualify to participate in that program and how to qualify for freebies).

Suggested Activities

The Play Unified campaign opens the door to some events you might not have considered before. We’d like to encourage you to consider some of the following events, in addition to some utilized previously.

  • Organize a Day of Play. Form inclusive teams for some recreational sports.
  • Arrange to have a Special Olympics exhibition during half time of your varsity sports event.
  • Volunteer at a local Special Olympics sporting event.

Spirit Week Ideas

  • Knock out the R Word. Play a game and cover one side with “r-word” and the other with alternative words (silly, ridiculous, ignorant, etc) and when someone gets 3 in a row they can win a prize. You could even ask for donations to play and give donations to your school’s Special Olympics team or club.
  • Plan an assembly (with permission, of course!) to talk about bullying and inclusion. Ask a Special Olympics athlete or family member to speak about their experiences. Contact your local Special Olympics office if you can’t find someone at your school to speak.
  • Create a video or other message to post online or use during your school news break.
  • Black out the r-word (wear all black).

Pledge to End the R-Word

Use the link below and replace “MySchool” with your school name. When someone clicks that link, it automatically fills in the school name so you can later search your school name and everyone who signed up will show up in your search results.

For example, Hickman High School might use this link: 

Pledge to End the R-Word Banner

You can order a banner from SOMO! Click here to order a banner.
New this year, you can track your school’s pledges online as well.

Inclusive Youth Leadership Guidebook

Inclusive Youth Leadership Guidebook is comprised of Five Pillars (Inclusion, Co-Leadership, Teamwork, Communication, Environment). Each pillar offers interactive activities, reflective questions, and supplemental worksheets to support growth in your school community.

View the Interactive PDF Guidebook
Print the Interactive Guidebook