EPIC | Erskine Personal Impact Curriculum

Honoring the life and legacy of Indiana native and MLB great Carl Erskine, Special Olympics Indiana is proud to partner with award-winning filmmaker Ted Green in developing the Erskine Personal Impact Curriculum (EPIC), presented by Duke Energy — a set of educational materials for elementary, middle, and high school students to be released in fall 2022 in conjunction with Ted’s upcoming film, The Best We’ve Got: The Carl Erskine Story.

This unique, adaptable curriculum builds upon the success of our Unified Champion Schools® and Champions Together initiatives to promote social and emotional learning for every age level, using stories and experiences from Carl’s life to create lessons and activities with themes including empowerment, friendship, inclusion and leadership. Register now to receive your free EPIC Preview Packet.

Who is Carl Erskine?

Anderson, Indiana native Carl Erskine enjoyed a successful Major League Baseball career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers between 1948 and 1959. He pitched in five World Series, winning one in 1955 against the New York Yankees. He pitched two no-hitters, set a World Series single-game strikeout record, and played during an era of major transformation for the sport: the introduction of jet travel and television, the move to the West Coast, and racial desegregation.

As a teammate and friend of Jackie Robinson, Carl witnessed how the silent perseverance of one man changed society. These lessons learned became part of Carl’s legacy when his son, Jimmy, was born with Down syndrome in 1960 and became a Special Olympics athlete in 1970. As a witness to, and participant in, these most remarkable social changes, Carl has used his life to promote acceptance and inclusion, to enhance understanding, and to invite people to actively support good causes.

EPIC classroom materials complement your school’s curriculum and make connections to Indiana Department of Education Academic Standards. Lessons and activities inspired by Carl Erskine’s life stories provide differentiated instruction and support Social and Emotional Learning. The flexible lesson design incorporates Erskine life themes of friendship, dignity, inclusion, perseverance, appreciation, leadership, empowerment, and social change. EPIC materials will be available to Indiana educators through an open resource platform, so there is no cost for their use.

Resources include:

  •  A special version of the Erskine documentary for schools.
  • Sample yearlong maps, which include lessons in social studies, writing, and reading.
  • Lesson plans structured by grade ranges and modifiable to reflect the grade(s) taught.
  • Video clips from the documentary highlighting the main themes and the roles sport and Special Olympics have played in effecting social change and promoting inclusion.
  • Curriculum aligned to Indiana state standards.
  • An EPIC Educator’s Guide with suggestions and guidance on how to incorporate EPIC materials into teachers’ current curriculum.

I like what I’m reading! How do I get a preview packet?

All educators interested in learning more about EPIC are eligible to receive a preview packet including the following:

  1. One sample yearlong map.
  2. Sample lesson plans structured by grade ranges and mapped to Indiana Academic Standards.
  3. Suggestions for modifications to fit your current curriculum.

To get yours, simply complete the registration form below to join our mailing list and get instant access to a PDF version of the EPIC preview packet, with an option to order a print copy if you prefer. It is that easy!


The Best We’ve Got: The Carl Erskine Story is an upcoming documentary about the last of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ storied “Boys of Summer,” who has had a profound social impact in equity and inclusion. Produced by Ted Green Films in partnership with the Indiana Historical Society and Special Olympics Indiana. Full film coming in the summer of 2022.

About the Filmmaker

Ted Green has established himself as Indiana’s leading documentarian through the creation of six films that seek to capture the best of Indiana and her people:

  • John Wooden: The Indiana Story (2010)
  • Naptown to Super City (2011)
  • Undefeated: The Roger Brown Story (2013)
  • Bobby ‘Slick’ Leonard: Heart of a Hoosier (2014)
  • Attucks: The School That Opened a City (2016)
  • Eva: A-7063 (2018)

Produced in conjunction with Indianapolis’ PBS affiliate, Ted’s work on these films has garnered many awards, including: 21 regional Emmys, the national Gabriel Award in the category of Human Dignity, first place in the national Associated Press Sports Editors contest, and the Servant-Leader Legacy Award from the Indianapolis Urban League. His most recent film, Eva: A-7063 has been broadcast by 94% of PBS member stations nationally since April 2019. Learn more.

While supporting Ted Green Films in the development, promotion, and delivery of the Carl Erskine documentary, Special Olympics Indiana is seeking additional resources to create and implement the Erskine Personal Impact Curriculum (EPIC) in schools throughout Indiana, beginning with the 2022-23 school year. Support for EPIC is welcomed from foundations, corporations, or individuals (grant funds will be spent as outlined in grant requests), with all sponsor benefits extending through 2025.

Special thanks to our current EPIC partners, including Duke Energy (presenting sponsor), Ted Green Films, the Sheehan Family Foundation, and The Indiana Historical Society.

Learn more by downloading the official EPIC Sponsorship Packet and contact us at EPIC@soindiana.org for more information.

EPIC Partners: