SUN program continues to grow
NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - “Students with unique needs, all the way from kindergarten up to the age of 21 here at Sun we’re able to provide students with highly individualized programming,” said Jessica Waterstreet, Special Education Coordinator at the SUN program.
The SUN program emphasizes academic, daily living, social and transition skills as well as getting students ready for their life after they leave the school grounds.
“Being some of those older students with unique needs specifically from the ages of 18 to 21 develop those transition skills, right specifically those pre-employment skills Rec Leisure skills, we want to work together with that child’s team to prepare them for life after school and to prepare them for moving on to something more,” said Waterstreet.
Sun Program is student-driven which organizers say can be hard to find in other schools.
“All these Services come in really geared toward their individual needs that couldn’t happen in a regular school building and that’s the key, you know the school building is going to have a lot of schedules and a lot of different things. It’s not designed For these kids and this program is really designed for those kids,” said Craig Kiefsaas, a special education teacher with the SUN program.
The school offers occupational and music therapy which is all modified to fit every student’s needs.
“They’re not functioning in a way that they can learn. I will come in and come up with different strategies for them to be able to sit and learn through. Yeah, different strategy approaches with their sensory systems,” said Tyler Kamm, occupational therapist.
winkler: “It’s so cool to see how music just energizes students. Sometimes like even a student who maybe wasn’t having such a good day earlier in the day. I think it’s just motivating and it’s engaging in a unique way,” said Isaac Winkler, a certified music therapist.
The Sun Program moved to a new location due to their growing numbers , which opened their doors back in the fall of 2022.
“Really been given the opportunity to expand what we can offer students,” added Waterstreet.
Now, they are welcoming the community to participate in the growth.
“I think we could come up with any number of ways to build Partnerships that serve students,” she added.
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