Most students with disabilities will never serve in the military, but a one-of-a-kind program in Maryland is using lessons from the armed forces to help with everyday life.
The Young Marines is a national program that uses military principles to teach students across the country. But a special unit at the Kennedy Krieger High School in Baltimore is the only one to focus exclusively on middle and high school students with disabilities.
Students in the program have everything from autism to intellectual disability, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and brain injuries. The unit’s leader 1st Sgt. Vivian Price-Butler, who is a veteran of the Iraq war, adjusts lessons to accommodate various reading levels and other special needs.
Nonetheless, Price-Butler holds all students to a high standard. Everyone learns about the military and does service projects, putting together care packages or visiting hospitals, for example. They are also taught the value of discipline, learning to tuck in their shirts and listen to their parents.
For many of the students, Price-Butler’s approach is likely to have lasting effect, parents say. “When she speaks, these kids straighten right up and listen,” one student’s mother told The Washington Post. To read more click here.