Cindy Bentley: Spirit of a Champion

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Wisconsin Historical Society, Aug 5, 2010 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 96 pages
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Cindy Bentley: Spirit of a Champion celebrates the life of one of Wisconsin's most inspirational leaders and activists. Born with an intellectual disability as the result of fetal alcohol syndrome, Cindy Bentley spent much of her childhood at the Southern Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled. No one expected her to learn the skills necessary to live on her own. To everyone's surprise, including her own, she did that and much more.

With the encouragement of a teacher at Southern Center, Cindy realized she had a deep passion for sports, and the discipline to train and compete. She began participating in Special Olympics, and gained confidence as she worked with teammates to earn medals in tennis, track and field, and even snowshoeing. Chosen as a Global Messenger for the Special Olympics International in 2000, Cindy has had dinner at the White House with two different American presidents, traveled around the world, and given speeches in front of thousands of people.

In these pages, young readers will learn what gives Cindy her champion spirit, and why she gave away some of her gold medals. Today, Cindy is still competing in Special Olympics. She also continues to advocate for people with disabilities, and helped to start People First, a statewide organization that encourages those with disabilities to speak up for their rights.


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Meet Cindy Bentley
Nobody Loved Her
An Unhappy Childhood
A First Friend
On Her Own
Female Athlete of the Year
Were Not Kids Were Athletes
Speaking for 2 5 Million Athletes
Cindy Gives Away Her Gold Medals
Choose the Pond Not the Fishbowl
Cindys Time Line
Reading Group Guide and Activities
To Learn More about Disabilities

Cindys Dream Job

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About the author (2010)

Bob Kann, author of several Badger Biographies, is a well-known storyteller, juggler, and magician who performs at schools, libraries, and festivals throughout the country. He also holds workshops on humor, motivation, creativity, and storytelling. His book Belle and Bob La Follette: Partners in Politics won a 2009 National Indie Excellence Award.

Caroline Hoffman, now retired, worked for 20 years for the Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities as a policy advocate. She has also lectured in the UW Madison School of Social Work and is coauthor with Bob on a 2009 curriculum on community service projects for youth titled "It's Our World, Too."