Saturday, December 29, 2012

Innovative Preschool Comes to Huntsville!


I had the privilege of meeting Caroline Bradford today when she dropped by the store to give me information about the Rise School of Huntsville that will open on January 9. As she described the concept to me, I was absolutely fascinated, and couldn't wait to share it with all of you!

The History

Thirty-seven years ago the first Rise School in the nation was started at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. It is a state-of-the-art preschool program that serves children with special needs alongside their peers who do not have special needs. The Rise teachers have a Master's degree, and the majority of the teacher assistants hold a Bachelor's degree.

Since the school's inception, seven other Rise School locations have formed, following the model set forth at the University of Alabama. There are currently Rise schools in Colorado, Oklahoma, and in four different locations in Texas. The Rise School of Huntsville is only the second school of its kind in Alabama.

The Difference

All children in the program spend time with a music therapist and and a speech therapist. The children with special needs also see a physical therapist and an occupational therapist. However, if faculty members identify an area where a non-special needs student needs extra help, they make certain that it is provided.

They use the Creative Curriculum, the most successfully researched curriculum designed to meet the needs of all children in an integrated environment. The ratio of special needs children to typical children  is 50:50. They make sure that there is one adult for every 2-4 children to ensure that each child receives as many learning opportunities as possible.

Getting Started

The Rise School of Huntsville is opening it's doors on January 9. Their current "home" is Trinity United Methodist Church on Airport Road. However, they hope to have a permanent home of their own before long. They are presently enrolling children from 24-36 months of age. Their goal is to add a classroom each year until they are able to care for children from birth - 6 yrs. of age.

If you are looking for an outstanding program for your child, email Caroline or call The Rise School of Huntsville at 256-489-7512.

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