Reporting Bob Roberts
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WESTMONT, Ill. (WBBM) – The gift of an iPad for a special needs girl from Westmont is prompting her big sister’s cheerleading team to “pay it forward,” and help other special children.
All the inspiration the Westmont High School Cheer Team has needed has come from five-year-old Ruby Benefield, who has spina bifida, but is learning math, science and even sign language from iPad apps specially-designed for special-needs children.
Ask Ruby what she’s doing, and she says, “I’m playing.”
But her 11-year-old sister Sophie says Ruby is actually breaking down historic barriers to learning.
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“I think she’s doing good because she’s learning all of these sign language things and she’s watching videos on it and learning a bunch of new stuff,” Sophie said.
Their big sister Emma is on the Cheer Team, which staged a Friday night halftime extravaganza that included Ruby and is hosting a raffle on its Facebook page that takes place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday for two new iPads.
The team hopes to raise enough money to buy an iPad for one special-needs child in every state, jump-starting the nine-month-old program that provided Ruby’s iPad, the Connecticut-based Apps for Children with Special Needs.
It’s the first fundraiser staged on behalf of the group, which goes by its initials A4CWSN. Its founder, Gary James, was in Westmont for Friday night’s football game and halftime show.