A Night of Unity: The Tri-School Unified Game Celebrates Community and Inclusion

In the heart of the LPS community, an extraordinary event unfolds annually, drawing together students, staff, and families from across the district for a celebration of unity and sportsmanship. The Tri-School Unified Game, now in its 8th iteration, has become a beacon of community spirit and inclusivity within Littleton Public Schools. This unique event sees the basketball teams from Arapahoe, Heritage, and Littleton high schools come together for a game unlike any other, aiming to foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie among students from different schools and backgrounds.

The inception of the Tri-School Unified Game was inspired by a simple yet powerful vision: to bring together students who might not otherwise compete against each other during the regular season, thereby creating a unified community. The resilience and spirit of our schools continue to bring excitement, year after year.

The game stands out not just for its inclusivity on the court but also for its role in fostering leadership and cooperation among students. Beyond basketball, students from Arapahoe, Heritage, Littleton, and Options engage in joint programs to enhance leadership skills and promote inclusion, demonstrating the event's wider impact on the school community.

Participation in the unified teams is open to all interested students, ensuring that anyone can be a part of this special event, whether as a player or a partner. This inclusivity extends to the rules of the game, adapted to ensure all students can compete meaningfully.

The impact of the Tri-School Unified Game on students, both on the teams and in the stands, has been profound. It serves as a vibrant example of how sports can transcend competition, becoming a source for unity and mutual support. The enthusiasm and involvement of the students in promoting the event have been remarkable, with Heritage students leading the charge this year. They crafted flyers, banners, and social media content, engaging the wider community and ensuring the stands were filled with supporters for every game.

The commitment of the students to the success of the Tri-School Unified Game speaks volumes about the character and spirit of our young people. Their initiative in marketing the event, from creating promotional videos to engaging in grassroots advertising, has played a crucial role in its success.

Reflecting on the impact of this event, Kristen Brethauer, an LPS graduate and Heritage High School social studies teacher, said, "We are a small district and can be very separated from one another. There is a lot of competition between academics, athletics, and activities–even competition for students. This was a night where it didn’t matter your school color or mascot, it didn’t matter what you were involved in, it didn’t matter what school you attend; we were all there to support the unified teams, and it made for an incredibly special night. I honestly can say it was one of my favorite moments as a member of the LPS community and I will never forget it."

This sentiment captures the essence of the Tri-School Unified Game–an event that transcends the boundaries of school rivalries and competition, uniting us in our shared humanity and the joy of collective achievement. As we look forward to future games, we carry this reminder of what we can accomplish when we come together in support and celebration of one another.