Children believe in heroes. You can be one by donating to Sarah’s campaign.
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 extra-curricular activities and the critical social opportunities they provide. For Sarah, this issue is personal. Her older brother Charlie was born with a disability that causes him to struggle socially. When an invitation to join the swim team dramatically improved Charlie’s high school experience, Sarah realized the power and responsibility that young people have to shape one another’s experiences.10 years ago, when she was only 15 years old, Sarah founded The Sparkle Effect, to generate and tangibly support school-based cheerleading and dance teams that include students with disabilities. Official Sparkle Effect teams receive specialized training, grants for uniforms, and ongoing mentoring throughout their lifespan. Students come to the team as equals, play to one another’s strengths, and practice and perform throughout a school’s fall and winter sports seasons.
Parents of students with disabilities have reported that their student’s participation on a Sparkle Effect team results in better school attendance and higher grades. Participants with disabilities are also more likely to eventually join additional extracurricular clubs, like theater, newspaper, choir, and band. Sarah’s teams help people to understand that inclusion is less an activity and more a way of thinking. By giving students opportunities to break down social barriers, inclusive teams create harmony among classmates and foster a culture that celebrates all abilities.
World of Children will match up to $10,000 of all donations made through this page through April 17, 2018. That means your $10 donation could become $20, or your $100 could become $200!