fromear2ear

Noteworthy progress in the community, anecdotes, recommendations, and more

The Sparkle Effect

on January 8, 2014

Check this out: http://www.hlntv.com/video/2012/02/24/breakthrough-woman

I heard about this a while back and, while thrilled to hear that it was happening, thought it would never make it to our district.

Times, they are a-changin’. It took me ten minutes to figure out how to type that. Recognize.

Anywho, I heard about it happening in Keller ISD when I was helping out with my sisters. I saw the flyer and was like, “Oh my gosh, when did this happen???” I was so happy for them! Peyton cheered with the eighth-grade squad at her middle school, but her involvement was very limited. She has always wanted to be a cheerleader. I should know, I got to hear about it ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Now that she is with our other sister, Brooke, at Fossil Ridge High School, they are both on the squad in our district’s first year of participating in The Sparkle Effect.

What is the Sparkle Effect? I’m lazy, so check it out here: http://www.thesparkleeffect.org/

Of course I was excited, but I was probably more scared than anything. Our school district has had a HUGE problem with bullying for as long as I can remember, and it has been getting worse to the point where people were pulling their kids out of school. I’ve posted about bullying before. Y’all know how strongly I feel about it. While my little sisters’ dreams were coming true, they would be open to further scrutiny. That scared the hell out of me. I saw the way typically-developing peers treated classmates with special needs, even when they thought they were being nice- talking to them like babies, feigning interest in them, nodding and smiling instead of trying to understand what they were saying…
I’m always hesitant when I see people talking to my sisters because of this.

I went to the first basketball game the Sparkle Squad cheered at and prayed it would be different this time. You have no idea how I felt coming out of that game, and the next two. The most recent one was last night. These girls and guys- these attractive, popular, high school students- are some of the coolest people I’ve met. They pushed to bring The Sparkle Effect to KISD and work with the Sparkles one-on-one to help each reach their full potential. Later this month, the entire Fossil Ridge High School cheer squad will go to training for The Sparkle Effect. There, they will learn how to best help their peers learn and develop as cheerleaders, students, and friends. In one game, a stray basketball was headed straight for my sisters, and one of the FRHS cheerleaders jumped in front of them to block the ball. Last time I checked, it was every man for himself when that happened. Not with these teens! They go out of their way to make sure our Sparkles are safe and confident. My sisters are more confident than ever. Peyton has always been a social butterfly, but Brooke is very reserved most of the time.

I could go on for hours… it’s surreal. The FRHS cheerleaders are teaching the Sparkles legitimate cheer skills. Nobody stands in the background. Nobody goes without support. I couldn’t have asked for a better situation. The Sparkles are cheered on by the whole district and have friends- real friends- in all places.

I’ll add some pics of my sisters and their friends below. I am beaming with pride as I type this! It’s just… wow.

Best wishes to all for a Happy New Year and all that jazz!

From Ear 2 Ear,

Amber

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