October is National Bullying Prevention month and Special Olympics Florida is proud to share that we are actively addressing this nationwide issue. Through Project UNIFY, Special Olympics Florida uses sports and education-based outreach programs to foster respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. Bringing together people with and without disabilities, Project UNIFY engages entire school bodies to foster attitudes of acceptance and inclusive environments. Earlier this year, we successfully introduced Project UNIFY in over 30 schools across Florida.
As we move into fall, our growth continues to make an impact as we work to build communities of acceptance. Throughout our 67 counties, we’ve added 60 new sport opportunities, including Surfing and Stand-Up-Paddle. Our Young Athletes program also hit a milestone and now serves over 5,000 athletes since its start 5 years ago. We also delivered over 7,000 free healthcare screenings and we continue to see the number of volunteers, coaches and athlete leaders grow.
We celebrate each person who joins the Special Olympics movement because this growth means that our athletes have more opportunities to demonstrate their abilities on and off the playing field. Our work today is more relevant and necessary than ever before. With an athlete and volunteer base 50,000 strong, we look forward to continue positively impacting our great state of Florida. If you are not already part of our team, we would be honored to add your unique skills and attributes to our growing mission.
As a team, we can make a difference.