Marquette County program provides education for adults with special needs
ISHPEMING, Mich. (WLUC) - Adults with special needs are getting a chance to continue learning thanks to a Marquette County program.
Beyond 26 provides continuous education for adults with special needs who are 26 and older. Saint John the Evangelist Church in Ishpeming hosts the class.
“In Michigan, schools are required to offer public education to handicap individuals until the age of 26,” Teacher Kitty Kososki said. “We believe they should have a lifelong education.”
The program covers everything from math, science, history and art to modern events and state parks.
“They are able to carry on conversations at the dinner table that they would not have had knowledge of before,” Teacher Sharon Dishnow said. “They can go to state parks and tell their parents what is at those state parks. That is the joy we get.”
Beyond 26 offers education to anyone in Marquette County. Dishnow says everyone should be allowed to continue learning.
“We all deserve the opportunity, and it ends at 26, why? The learning that you see, the growth that you see and the knowledge that they have,” Dishnow said.
Kososki says she would like to see other communities implement similar programs.
“Just as the Special Olympics is countrywide, we would love to see this program countrywide,” Kososki said. “We have developed the prototype and we encourage anyone to come study and see what they can implement this program.”
The program receives some money from the state, but it primarily runs on donations. Learn more or donate to Beyond 26 by calling Ishpeming-Negaunee-NICE Community Schools at 906-475-4173.
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