Spread the Word to End the Word March 1

The words we use have power to build each other up, or tear each other down. Join us in pledging to respect others with the words we choose on Spread the Word to End the Word® Day - Wednesday, March 1!

Across Virginia in March, Spread the Word to End the Word rallies and pledge stations will be set up, encouraging people to pledge to eliminate the derogatory use of the word "retard" or "retarded" from their everyday speech. Join our community to promote a new r-word: respect! Here are a few highlights:

  • In the City of Richmond on March 1, middle and high school service clubs, National Honor Societies and several other student groups will work in partnership with exceptional education students to set up booths in school cafeterias, post flyers and posters promoting the event and get students to sign the banner pledging not to use the R-word.
  • Students from the Thomas Jefferson Service Club in Richmond will be promoting Spread the Word on social media.
  • Richmond-area elementary schools will be doing arts and crafts and writing songs in the classroom with general and exceptional education classes.
  • On March 2 at 10 am, John Marshall High School in Richmond will host a Unified Basketball Game, during which general education students will participate with exceptional education students and handle all of the game logistics, play on teams and promote the Spread the Word initiative.
  • All three Shenandoah County high schools will plan and host an R-Word campaign in March.
  • Seven schools in Northern Virginia, Yorktown High School, Kenmore Middle School, Frost Middle School, Annandale High School, South County Middle School, Robert E Lee High School and Westfield High School, will host r-word events in March, too. 

You, too, can take action. Please sign the pledge to end the use of the r-word at For additional resources, including Facebook cover images and button and banner graphics, visit the r-word site. You can order T-shirts, hats and more through the r-word store.

You also can visit for more information about how to hold an R-Word Campaign in your community or school, and then find Special Olympics near you to contact your Region Director for help getting started!