Westside has many activities and sports that students can be a part of, one including the Sparkles program. The Sparkles program is an inclusive group of students with and without disabilities at Westside that come together to cheer and dance at several sporting events.
Katherine Lupo, the head of the sparkles program, believes Sparkles to be great for the inclusion of all students.
“The sparkles cheer, dance, and chant at the football, basketball, and volleyball games, and sometimes they cheer at halftime also,” Lupo said.
The Sparkles program is a unique club to have at Westside.
“For me, the best part of sparkles is seeing all of the relationships made by the teammates,” Lupo said. “Seeing the sparkles come together outside of the program is really the best thing.”
The Sparkles program allows students with and without disabilities to form a team together.
“I enjoy seeing the confidence grow in the students with disabilities as the year goes on,” Lupo said. “With each week, the students become more and more confident, not just with themselves, but with the other students in the school.”
Sophomore team member Brooke Hopkins loves the way she is able to build new friendships with new people.
“I like being able to work with students that I usually wouldn’t have been able to create a relationship with in school,” Hopkins said. “Sparkles has impacted me because I have realized that kids with special needs should not be put on a lower scale than us. Having a disability doesn’t define who you are, they just have a different approach and way of looking at things,” Hopkins said.
The Sparkles program at Westside is a way to include students into one unified team, allowing students with and without disabilities to create a relationship with one another.