A coalition of a local church, school district, and non profit organization for disabled people are committed to helping students find out how to learn life skills at a transition house.
The Waupun Area School District Transition House is designed to link home, school, and independence for intellectually disabled students. Thanks to a partnership between the district, Grace Lutheran Church, and REACH (Reaching Everyone through Actions with Community Hands) Waupun, students can learn to function in the world with day to day skills.
The program is using the parsonage at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church every day. “It’s not a new idea,” said Waupun Area Junior/Senior High School special needs instructor Jen Schramm. “A lot of school districts have this kind of program, but it’s a new thing here in Waupun.”
Originally, the transitional program was to be established at the Union Youth Center.
“There was a room in the basement that we were kind of going to transform into an apartment setting,” Schramm said. “When the ball started rolling I sent an email to our district staff inviting them to donate things for that purpose. All the things we collected were stored in that room.”
However, an aid with the program found out that the parsonage was empty. The current pastor has his own home. This summer, the parsonage will be occupied by a retired minister, but until the summer, the district can use it. The parsonage is a five bedroom home, offering plenty of space for instruction, storage, and recreation, providing opportunities for students and teachers to find out how to learn.