Special needs students sparkle with varsity cheerleaders

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- An inclusive cheerleading team called the Sparkle Squad is for students with special needs at Farragut High School. It's a opportunity for the students to practice and cheer with the varsity cheerleaders during different games.

Brooke Mountjoy says, "It's all about being included and not sitting on the sidelines. It gives our special needs students an opportunity they usually don't get."

For the Sparkle Squad, being part of a team is something they never thought would happen because they've always felt different.

Lucy and Sarah Kohl explained, "We always wanted to be cheerleaders. It looked like a lot of fun and now that we're cheering we know it's a lot of fun."

Not only is it fun but this squad has changed the girls outlook on life says Mountjoy, "When they put on that uniform you see their personalities come alive. They're out on the field smiling, clapping, cheering and screaming louder than I've ever heard them before."

It's only the second year that the Farragut High School squad has been together.

It was started with a grant from the Sparkle Effect, a national program that helps students across the country get involved in cheerleading and dance teams.

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