Neuqua Valley High School gears up for 2nd year of Cheer with a Peer

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- All month long Disney and ABC's Choose Kindness campaign is encouraging you to take part in the fight against bullying by choosing kindness and inclusion.

At Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, they are keeping their tradition of kindness going with a second year of their "Cheer with a Peer" program, which celebrates school spirit and inclusion.

Brandon Mcghee is a special education teacher and the school's varsity cheerleading head coach.

"Neuqua is all about diversity and including everyone, so one that we want to do as ambassadors of the school as cheerleaders is include everybody, and what a better way to include our special needs kids that to cheer this game with us," he said.

Cheer with a Peer partners a member of the Squad with a student with special needs to cheer on the sideline and on the field for one game each year. Senior Ali Drapp said it teaches an important lessons of unity outside of the classroom.

"I think it's different because it teaches us lessons outside of cheer and we can bring it to the real world," she said. "Also gives them a chance to interact with people they don't really see on a regular basis during their school day, so that's why it's unique."

For Junior Emily Weil, it's about seeing the smiles on the peers' faces and merging two of her passions.

"I'm involved with Peer Partners at school, which is a blended gym class with athletes and other students, so it's just fun to bring them both together," she said.

Everyone is excited and ready to go for Friday's big game, and there is one simple message that these students want to take home.

"I think it's kind to show them they can do anything that we can do," Weil said.

Neuqua Valley High School will take on Matea Valley High School Friday at 7:30 p.m.
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