The sparkle effect dazzles cheer team

Sophie Ossorio, Staff Writer

Do dreams really come true? Who makes them happen? Well, the Liberty cheer teams are making dreams come true, by teaming up with The Sparkle Effect.
The Sparkle Effect is a national organization where students with special needs get the opportunity to join a cheer team. The program allows these students, who are often excluded from athletics, a chance to be a part of a team, and also demonstrate how all students are accepted, respected, and included.
“Just because a student has a disability does not mean they can’t do whatever they want and achieve their dreams,” JV cheer co-captain Heaven Manning said.
The Sparkle Effect has found that students who participate in the program often go on to join more activities, like choir and drama for example.
“I’m so excited we are adding The Sparkle Effect to Liberty…it reminds me of the Special Olympics,” Special Education teacher Bob Warren said.
The “Sparkles” or The Sparkle Effect team additions will be practicing once a week with the teams and then cheering for the upcoming basketball season.
“I’d like to cheer for the basketball team. I would be right next to the game cheering on the players,” prospective Sparkle Zachary Alexander said.
Today, over 150 teams and 3,000 students are involved with the program nationwide.
“I am a huge supporter of the Sparkle Effect. The program will make my students feel more involved and integrated at Liberty,” Warren said.