Open sign-ups will be held for a "Special Needs Cheerleading Program" from 1 to 2:30 p.m. today and Sundays June 22 and 29 at the Marple Sports Arena, 611 South Park Way, Broomall.
The new team is open to boys and girls ages 8 to 17 who have mild to moderate mental retardation or Down syndrome, and are physically functional.
The children will practice for an hour and a half on Sundays from July until April, and participate in a Delaware County competition as part of a pilot study conducted by Amanda M. Kingsland, a Clifton Heights resident and an occupational therapy student at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Liberty Cheer Institute is sponsoring the program, and providing gym space and staff services.
Kingsland said the aim is to enhance the children's quality of life, give them a turn in the spotlight, and provide more extra-curricular opportunities for children with disabilities.
The first special-needs cheerleading team began in 2001 in Lexington, Ky., Kingsland said, and there are more than 160 teams across the country.
Participation in the pilot program is free. Space is limited.
For more information, contact Kingsland at
James O'Shea, a sixth grader at
St. Laurence School
in Upper Darby, ranked third in the nation in the First In Math program.
About 3,000 schools, 20,000 teams and 300,000 students competed in the national online math program, in which students earned electronic award stickers for each level they completed.
O'Shea's classmate, sixth grader Jordan Bryan, ranked 52d in the nation in the contest. St. Laurence School ranked 19th in the nation.
Other Delaware County schools ranked nationally were
St Pius X School
in Broomall at 26th;
Evans Computer Magnet School
in Yeadon, 30th; the
, 40th; and
Bell Avenue Elementary School
in Yeadon, 73d.
Several local graduating seniors will receive a $1,000 scholarship through the Comcast Foundation for their commitment to community service, leadership skills and academic achievement.
The Leaders and Achievers winners included John Novoshielski, of
Garnet Valley High School
, who will attend Penn State University; Maria Gazmin, of
Academy Park High School
in Sharon Hill, who hasn't decided on a college; Erika West, of
Chichester High School
in Boothwyn, who will attend American University in Washington; and Sean Haggerty, of
Strath Haven High School
, who will attend Point Park University in Pittsburgh.
Across the nation, 1,965 high school seniors received $1,000 Comcast Leaders and Achievers scholarships this year. For more information, visit
More than 90 seventh-grade girls met and networked with professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics May 23 at
Penn State Brandywine
's annual Math Options Career Day.
Students participated in nine educational sessions at the college in Middletown. Girls made different formations of silly putty to study the effect of varying cross-linking levels on the polymer properties.
They also designed and built straw structures, compared drugs, and learned how to incorporate their picture into a personal home page, using Hyper-Text Mark-Up Language tags.
Chester resident Curtis Fisher accompanied 10 students and two other teachers from
Village Charter School
in Chester Township to participate in the program. Fisher, a Brandywine alum, received an Outstanding Alumni Award in education at the campus' 40th Anniversary Gala in May.
Other participating schools included
Chichester Middle School
Darby Township School
Delaware County Christian School
, Newtown Square;
E.T. Richardson Middle School
Garnet Valley Middle School
, Glen Mills;
Northley Middle School
Our Lady of Charity School
, Brookhaven; and
St. Joseph School