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Shining Bright Through "The Sparkle Effect"

On the outside, Sarah Cronk and Sarah Herr were typical teenage girls – they were pretty and popular and cheerleaders on their high school varsity cheerleading squad. But on the inside, these girls were something much more. Instead of simply enjoying their cheerleading squad status, the Sarahs wanted other kids to be able to share in the special feeling as well. And the kids they wanted this for? Those who would normally not get the chance – kids with disabilities whose physical limitations would keep them from making a cheerleading squad.

In order to accomplish this goal, the Sarahs began the nation’s first inclusive cheerleading squad at their high school. They called the squad The Spartan Sparkles, and from there the idea for a larger effort called The Sparkle Effect was born. Today, The Sparkle Effect has inspired inclusive cheerleading squads all over the country, giving disabled kids a chance to “sparkle” in a whole new way!

This video shows what The Sparkle Effect is all about.

Additional Resources:

  • Here is an article that tells about how the Sarahs started The Sparkle Effect.
  • Here is another article about the profound impact The Sparkle Effect is having.

Topics for Discussion:

  • What do you think made the Sarahs want to create an inclusive cheerleading squad?
  • How do you think The Spartan Sparkles feel when they get to cheer alongside the high school varsity cheerleaders?

Take Action:

  • Visit The Sparkle Effect website to learn how you can participate in this worthy cause!
  • Visit the Federation for Children With Special Needs website to learn other ways you can help kids with special needs!

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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