Skip to main content

Remembering Jarred

03/05/2014 12:21PM, Published by Ashlee Cleveland, Categories:



Gallery: Remembering Jarrod [5 Images] Click any image to expand.



By Kelly Twedell
Photography by: Maggie Cartwright

Three years ago Jarred Sparks died at home from battling the devastating effects of autism. While his family has grieved and the pain lingers on, they are honoring Jarred and putting their efforts into launching the first ever school for autistic students, called the School of Hope. Jarred’s mother Amy, an elementary school teacher at Vanstory Hills, father Rob, older sister Kelsey and younger brother Dylan are living life to the fullest and have so many special memories shared over the years.
Out of the ashes comes beauty and that’s just what those who knew Jarred joined together to help launch the non-profit in Jarred’s honor, aptly called: The Jarred Bryan Sparks Foundation. From former teachers, classmates and those affected by Jarred, the foundation will leave a legacy of support and resources for other families working through autism.

“It is our goal and our intent to make a difference in the lives of children who have autism and to honor the memory of our son,” said Amy. “Our dream is to open the doors of our school in the fall of 2016, if not sooner.”

The School of Hope aims to be a community resource where the students will have specialized instruction with qualified teachers and the materials designed for students with autism with a focus on intense behavior medication services.

“Many have a misconception about autism, there are varying spectrums and just because the student is not looking at you or making eye contact does not mean that they are not paying attention. The kids are very sharp and tuned into details, as Jarred was,” said Charles Williams, President of the Board for the foundation and teacher at Cape Fear High School. 
The Sparks family has been tireless advocates for other autistic students and in 1997 they fought and won a seven-year lawsuit with Fort Bragg schools at the federal district court level. Jarred’s lawsuit changed the laws for kids in North Carolina, enabling them to get the services they are entitled to.

Remembered for his kindness and athletic abilities, Jarred competed in the 1,500-meter swim in the North Carolina Special Olympics one week before he died. He played basketball and a former classmate and current teacher assistant, Dannie Singleton, recalls a fun memory about his uncanny ability to hone in on soft drinks, especially Mountain Dew and to stealthily procure them throughout the school day, once he had seen them.

As tears brimmed over, Amy shared some fond memories of Jarred’s final days. She recalled that the day before he died he was able to hug his teachers and left each person emotionally impacted who he came in contact with. “Meeting Jarred and working with him changed my life,” shared Kelly Ambellan, foundation Board member and also one of Jarred’s first assistants who really made progress with him.

Looking to show your support for The School of Hope and make this dream a reality? Make your tax-deductible donations at New Century Bank at 2818 Raeford Road or by PayPal at amylovesjarredsparks@aol.com.







in print march/april


  • National Poppy Day

    05/26/2017
    05:00AM — 11:00PM

    Join with The American Legion and wear a red poppy Friday, May 26. National Poppy Day is to re...


  • Enjoy watching all the racing action on the 1/2-mile clay track at Fayetteville Motor Speedway du...


  • Memorial Day Tent Sale at Southern Design

    05/26/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    Come to Southern Design Furniture May 25 - May 31 and enjoy great Memorial Day sale prices on bea...


  • Plant Appreciation Walking Group

    05/26/2017
    03:00PM — 04:30PM

    Meet other plant lovers and walk the trails at the park and along the Cape Fear River (CFR) ident...


  • 3rd Annual Art Show

    05/26/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us for the 3rd Annual Art Show Reception on May 26, at 6pm! The exhibit will run May 26 - J...


  • 4th Friday

    05/26/2017
    06:00PM — 10:00PM

    On the Fourth Friday of every month between 6:00 and 10:00pm, Downtown features history exhibits,...


  • The Diary of Anne Frank

    05/26/2017
    08:00PM

    The Gilbert Theater's last show of the 2016-2017 season is The Diary of Anne Frank, written by Go...


  • Birthday Dance & Potluck

    05/26/2017
    09:00PM — 01:00AM

    Celebrate your birthday month with others every 4th Friday of the month! Birthday dance & potluc...


  • Memorial Day Tent Sale at Southern Design

    05/27/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    Come to Southern Design Furniture May 25 - May 31 and enjoy great Memorial Day sale prices on bea...


  • 6th Annual Pig Pickin for Autism

    05/27/2017
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    A Fun Family event to raise awareness and funds for the Autism Society of Cumberland County! Live...


  • Public Works

    05/27/2017
    12:00PM — 04:00PM

    Come see all types of visual art for all ages. Visit the Arts Council's galleries to see the lar...


  • It’s America in 1963, with the turmoil of the JFK assasination and the civil rights movement. In ...


  • Fish Fry Fundraiser

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM — 08:00PM

    Event June 3 at 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Join Raeford United Methodist Church for their annual Good Ne...


  • Memorial Day Tent Sale at Southern Design

    05/29/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    Come to Southern Design Furniture May 25 - May 31 and enjoy great Memorial Day sale prices on bea...


  • CSG 2017 Summer Development Camps

    05/31/2017
    09:00AM — 08:30PM

    CSG 2017 Summer Development Camps Hero Training Camp June 12 -14 9 a.m. - Noon. Must regi...


  • Memorial Day Tent Sale at Southern Design

    05/31/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    Come to Southern Design Furniture May 25 - May 31 and enjoy great Memorial Day sale prices on bea...


  • What the Truck

    05/31/2017
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    What the Truck! kick-off is coming up! Come one, come all! We will be hosting food trucks every W...


  • The Diary of Anne Frank

    05/31/2017
    08:00PM

    The Gilbert Theater's last show of the 2016-2017 season is The Diary of Anne Frank, written by Go...


  • Memorial Day Tent Sale at Southern Design

    05/25/2017
    09:30AM — 05:00PM

    Come to Southern Design Furniture May 25 - May 31 and enjoy great Memorial Day sale prices on bea...


  • The Fayetteville Downtown Alliance’s Field of Honor event is a way for the community to honor and...


  • National Poppy Day

    05/26/2017
    05:00AM — 11:00PM

    Join with The American Legion and wear a red poppy Friday, May 26. National Poppy Day is to re...


  • 4th Friday

    05/26/2017
    06:00PM — 10:00PM

    On the Fourth Friday of every month between 6:00 and 10:00pm, Downtown features history exhibits,...


  • Public Works

    05/27/2017
    12:00PM — 04:00PM

    Come see all types of visual art for all ages. Visit the Arts Council's galleries to see the lar...


  • This is the fifth annual concert where the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra will play patriotic an...


CityView Facebook
CityView Family Facebook