DECATUR, AL (WAFF)- For many girls, being a cheerleader is a dream. The Decatur High School Developmental program helps girls in special education classes reach that dream.
Varsity cheerleaders mentor to the developmental squad. Sophmore Toni Swopes is in her second year on the developmental squad and loves the experience.
"We cheer a lot and we practice hard and we make good relationships, and we work hard and we practice every day," said Swopes.
That's music to the ears of educators who work hard to make the high school experience positive for these students.
"It's Decatur City Schools goal for these students to have a close to a high school experience as they can have," said Bobbi Burmester, Coordinator of the developmental program. "They have the opportunity to be in a band, cheerleaders, to be on a basketball team."
The "A" team is also reaching new heights from this relationship.
"All my friends did it last year and they loved it, and this is my first year and it's just gives you a whole new perspective and the kids are so sweet. I love it," said varsity cheerleader Caroline Hughes.
This program has only been around for a couple of years, but the feedback from all students, teachers and parents has been very positive.