August 11, 2009
Statement by Antonia Cortese,
Secretary-Treasurer, American Federation of Teachers
On the Passing of Eunice Shriver
WASHINGTON—Eunice Shriver was an energetic and compassionate leader whose pioneering work with developmentally challenged children has made the world a better place. Mrs. Shriver's Special Olympics has given courage and inspiration to millions of children with disabilities. The AFT has been an official sponsor of the Special Olympics USA National Games since 2006, has supported the organization's International Games, and has helped distribute to teachers the Special Olympics' "Get Into It" curriculum about inclusion. Mrs. Shriver will be greatly missed but her spirit and extraordinary work will live on.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.