Sparkle Squad Shines


Valentina Franco, Staff Writer

According to the Florida Department of Education, Florida teachers and schools must adapt to more than 15 types of student disabilities With Exceptional Student Education, ESE, students between the ages of three to twenty one are able to receive the unique kind of education they need.

Unfortunately, this required adaptation does not apply to extracurricular activities. Most of the clubs and activities at Wellington High School do not typically involve students in the ESE program. Seeing the potential of involving ESE students in school sports, Sarah Cronk, senior, took the idea of involving ESE students in cheerleading and dance squads by founding “The Sparkle Effect.”

At this moment there are 101 schools participating in The Sparkle Effect throughout the United States. Wellington High School can now proudly announce it is number 102.

The Sparkle Effect is a student-run nationwide program that gets members of cheerleading and dance teams to work with ESE students with the idea of performing with them at football games, pep rallies and other school activities.

Started by Elena Hadley and Kristen Cullen, four students from the ESE program will participate in the WHS cheerleading squad.They made their debut at last Friday night’s football game against Jupiter High School. Cheering on the track, the WHS ESE cheerleaders were given a varsity cheerleader ‘buddy’.

The ESE cheerleaders showed immense school spirit and proved that anything is possible. One of the four ESE cheerleaders is in a wheelchair and the groups overall commitment to cheering on their own football team was contagious.

The varsity cheerleaders think the Sparkle Squad is a great opportunity. “I feel like it’s a great chance for our “Sparkle Girls” to get out there and have a really fun experience, while at the same time showing our student body that anyone can help to cheer on the Wolverines,” Victoria Powers, 11th grade varsity cheerleader, said.

One of the buddies from the program has gotten close to her partner. “I’ve helped a girl, Michelle, and she’s really nice. She asks me a lot of cheer questions and we have a lot of fun together,” Destiny Fran, 11th grade varsity cheerleader, said.

The newly founded Sparkle Squad will be cheering at the first half of the football games and will be an inspiration to all Wellington High School students. They show the importance of school spirit and show how extracurricular activities help students connect.