The Sparkle Effect

Associated Sports:
  • High School Athletics
Causes Served:
  • Athletics
  • Children and Youth
  • Community
  • Disability Issues
  • Education
  • Health
  • Human Rights
  • Peace
  • Special Needs
Age Groups Served: Children & Youth
Mailing Address: 5080 Center Court
City: Bettendorf
State/Province: Iowa
Zip/Postal Code: 52722
Country: United States
Phone: 309-236-0993
Email: Linda.mullen@thesparkleeffect.org
Website: Http://www.thesparkleeffect.org
Description:

over Five Million Students with Disabilities Attend Public Schools in the United States; Yet, Most School Sports and Activities Are Not Designed to Accommodate These Students. Not Surprisingly Then, Students with Disabilities Are Often Sidelined -- Excluded from School Sports and the Critical Social Opportunities They Offer. by Perpetuating the Segregation of Students with Disabilities from Their Peers, Schools Unjustly Deny Both Groups the Essential Opportunity to Learn and Grow Together.

the Sparkle Effect Empowers Teens Nationwide to Include Students with Disabilities Alongside Their Typically-developing Peers in School-based Cheerleading and Dance Programs. Our Quick-start Kit, Grants for Uniforms, and Free On-site Training Equip Any Interested Student with the Tools Necessary to Start and Sustain a Team. the Result: Students with and Without Disabilities Gain Acceptance and Confidence, Become Passionate Leaders, and Help Schools and Broader Communities Understand and Embrace Inclusion.

the Positive Impact Resulting from Sparkle Effect Teams Has Been Demonstrated in a Case Study Conducted by St. Ambrose University Students. over the Past Year, the Graduate Students Surveyed Teachers, Administrators, and Parents of Students with Disabilities at Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, Iowa, Where the Sparkle Effect Has Had Both a Cheer and a Dance Team for over Five Years. Those Surveyed Reported That the Students with Disabilities on Our Teams Have Become More Engaged and Confident in Classroom Activities. They Also Noted an Increase in Respectful, Accepting, and Inclusive Interactions Between Students with Disabilities and Their Peers in General in Both the Classroom and During Extracurricular Activities. Finally, Those Surveyed Reported That the Sparkle Effect Teams Have Produced a Greater Sense of School and Community Pride.

to Date, the Sparkle Effect Has Generated and Tangibly Supported over 160 Inclusive Teams in 29 States. As Students with and Without Disabilities Cheer Together Under the Friday Night Lights, They Showcase a Loud and Public Symbol of Acceptance, Forever Changing a School's Culture to One That Values Diversity and Kindness.

the Students on Our Teams Relay a Simple Message: at Our School, All Students Are Respected, Accepted, and Included, Regardless of Ability. Mark Ozburn, a Blogger for the Huffington Post, Observed, "the Real Life Lesson That [the Sparkle Effect] Has Taught Me is How a Small Amount of Empathy Can Powerfully Influence an Individual and a School Community. . . . a Program Like the Sparkle Effect Fosters Empathy in All Youth . . ."

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