Sparkle Cheer is an inclusive, extracurricular spirit group at Del Valle High School in Del Valle, TX. The team is comprised of students with and without intellectual/physical disabilities, and is independent of the school’s varsity and JV cheer teams. Sparkle meets daily to practice choreographed routines catered to the needs and capabilities of their members and performs for the school multiple times per year.
“[Special education teacher and Sparkle coach, Kelcey Williams] says many of her special-needs students are nonverbal, but she can detect the impact of this activity on both their well-being and physical fitness. One team member frequently used a wheelchair through middle school but gained strength and confidence through Sparkle and was able to stop using it. Other students have actually made their first vocalizations while calling out cheers. Meanwhile, general-education team members have developed patience and practiced techniques for gently guiding their teammates and supporting their best efforts at participation. A number of them now aspire to careers in working with people with disabilities.” – When Are We Going to Teach Health? (Duncan Van Dusen, 2020)