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MIHS Sparkle Effect cheer team featured on Q13 Fox News

Mercer Island High School cheerleaders pose with their Sparkle counterparts at a recent event. Back row from left, Kirbi Phillips, Ethan Rouillard, Molly White, Meredith Wootton. Front row from left:  Kelly Devine, Lizzy Maxwell, Danni Noonan, Megan Diamond, Megan Ingram, Tommy Schonander, Jeffrey Pimental, Danielle Katsman, and Julia MacDiarmid (Sparkle cheerleader not pictured: MacKenzie Johnson). - Contributed photo
Mercer Island High School cheerleaders pose with their Sparkle counterparts at a recent event. Back row from left, Kirbi Phillips, Ethan Rouillard, Molly White, Meredith Wootton. Front row from left: Kelly Devine, Lizzy Maxwell, Danni Noonan, Megan Diamond, Megan Ingram, Tommy Schonander, Jeffrey Pimental, Danielle Katsman, and Julia MacDiarmid (Sparkle cheerleader not pictured: MacKenzie Johnson).
— image credit: Contributed photo

On Feb. 24, the Mercer Island High School Sparkle Effect cheerleading squad, made up of students with special needs, was featured with the cheer team on Q13 Fox News.

Sponsored by The Sparkle Effect, the program introduces students with special needs to school-based cheerleading and outfits them with free uniforms purchased through a foundation. Each squad member is partnered with a mentor from the cheer team for the year. The squad joins the cheer team for practices once a week and for several football and basketball games, as well as for assemblies and parades.

“The Sparkles bring extra joy and spirit to our practices, games and performances. It doesn't matter if Mercer Island wins or loses a game or if a routine hits perfectly, the Sparkles remind us all that high school sports and activities are about the joy and fun of participation,” said MIHS Cheer Coach Traci Brandon. “Having the Sparkles at MIHS has enhanced our cheer program immensely. Having our special Sparkle cheerleaders as part of our family has only made us stronger and closer as teammates.”

Q13 Fox News featured the Sparkle squad joining the cheer team on Jan. 21 for a halftime performance during a 53-40 Mercer Island High School basketball victory over Mount Si. They performed to a song by One Direction, a favorite chosen by a member of the Sparkle squad.

“The Sparkle Effect allows much greater inclusion for our students with special needs,” said Mercer Island School District Superintendent Dr. Gary Plano. “The Sparkle squad and the cheer team, who have inspired me, are able to give so much to each other and we’re proud to celebrate their work together.”

The MIHS Sparkle squad was the 100th squad formed through The Sparkle Effect since the foundation began in 2008.

 

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