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3 cheers for special needs kids

Cheerleaders typically are a pretty spirited crowd. But a cheerleading practice Friday at Westside High School fired up with more than the usual quota of hugs and high fives, laughter and smiles.

Three varsity cheerleaders led six members of the high school’s newest cheer squad, the Sparkles, through a medley of cheers. They went bananas during the Banana Cheer, a Sparkle favorite.

Everybody Y-E-L-L-ed. And they had spirit, yes they did.

The Westside Sparkle Effect, a program for students with special needs, is being credited with inspiring a surge of school spirit at the central Omaha high school and helping to bring special needs students more fully into school life.

Fellow students greet the Sparkles in the halls and congratulate them on a job well done. Students packed a commons area during last Friday’s pep rally, when the Sparkles made their debut.

Read more here: 3 cheers for special needs kids –

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