Friday, November 9, 2012

Some Truly Good News

It is not hard to find bad news. In fact, thanks to the internet, you are one click away from war, natural disasters, economic pressures and other strive.  In a future post I am going to focus on the The Fund For Peace and its 2012 Failed States Report. That is chalk full of bad news, enough for at least a couple of posts. However, that is for another day.

For this post, I want to share with you what I consider a truly "good news" story. It has nothing to do with the military, the law, or anything along those lines.  And yet, I hope you will come away from this post feeling just a bit better about our world and the young people who live in it.

Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Ms. Sarah Cronk. I have not met her personally yet I know a number of people who do know her. She is from my town and has done (IMO) a pretty amazing thing. She created The Sparkle Effect.

In a nutshell,this terrific program empowers kids with disabilities with the opportunity to be cheerleaders. Here is the message from Ms. Cronk:

"The Sparkle Effect continues to profoundly change the lives and outlooks of participating students with and without disabilities, replacing insecurity with confidence and joy. In the United States today, athletes are taught to perfect their skills, to conquer, to win. Sparkle Effect teams are not about perfection, they are about connection. Join the nationwide movement that is changing game night in America."

I could go on at length about how neat and cool and wonderful this program is but please do me a favor, just check out the photos on the website. I think you'll get the point. Go ahead, I'll wait.

OK, we're back. So from the website you saw what makes this so amazing. Here are what one could argue are two groups in the high school world you would not necessary think would come together. Back in my high school days (in the dark ages of cassette tapes and the Apple II) this would never have happened.

What I find so amazing about this group is that it is both a super idea and it also has a plan to grow. Itis what we in the military-speak call sustainment.  The program continues to grow, reach kids and I might add, the adults who have the good fortune to watch it happen.

As I learned about this program, I recall Sarah mentioning that her inspiration for this program was when her brother was invited to have lunch at the table of the swim team captain. The link below is from ESPN and tells a story on the same lines, although under more dire circumstances. A girl was being bullied and members of the football team stepped up and befriended her. It is another "good news" story.

Back to The Sparkle Effect, this story is something that has many so good points. The story by and far is great and that is enough. However, when you factor in that this was started by a student and grown legs and is now spreading throughout the country makes it even better.  

Robert Kennedy made a speech in South Africa on June 6, 1966. In that speech, he said the following:

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
Is this quote a bit much for this program, maybe. Then again, watch the video from NBC news about this programand then decide for yourself about this program:

After watching this, I think that The Sparkle Effect is a true ripple of hope. If this is not a good news story, I do not know what is.  I would go so far as to say it is a wonderfully good news story.  I hope you enjoyed it.  So what is a good news today you have?  Please share it, either here or better yet, through your own blog, I would appreciate reading it, thanks.

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