June 19, 2008

Madonna’s Summer School is a Hit With the Students

By Qianna Bradley, Omaha World-Herald, Neb.

Jun. 19--For some students, the words summer and school don't go together.

But students at Madonna School, which serves children with special needs, could hardly wait.

For the first time in its 48-year history, the school near 72nd Street and Sorensen Parkway is offering summer school.

The three-week program ends June 27. The students go daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

About 38 students are participating in summer school. During the regular school year, attendance is about 50 students.

The curriculum is the same as during the regular school year -- students are just receiving reinforcement on what they learned, said Sister Michelle Faltus, president of Madonna School.

"This is a great opportunity for these students to be loved and be safe," Faltus said.

The school has a laboratory where students learn life skills such as cooking, cleaning and washing clothes.

A transitional program was started in March for older students. They learn how to fill out job applications, interview and have a chance at a job.

The summer school program received funding for the next three years from the locally owned Consolidated Kitchens and Fireplaces.

"You have to give back to the community," said Sam Marchese, the company's chief executive officer. "I did this in the spirit of the parents. It gives them a little piece of mind during the summer."

Besides classroom learning, the students get to go on field trips. So far, they've been to Lauritzen Gardens, Camp Possible and the Strategic Air & Space Museum.

In one word, Sarah Placek summed up her favorite part of summer school so far.

"Camp," the 12-year-old said.

Sam Nelson, 15, who loves computers and helps the teachers set up presentations, loves what he's doing in summer school.

"It's good," Nelson said. "We learn how to read. We're learning about space shuttles and planes."

--Contact the writer: 444-1351, [email protected]


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