Traverse Bay Area School District Donation Is Changing Students’ Lives

A Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District’s donation is changing students’ lives for the better.

Students who may be confined to wheelchairs are receiving new equipment to help get them back on their feet.

Alex Juhala is a Traverse City student who years ago lost the ability to walk. Hey says the program,” makes me feel happy, makes me feel that this is worth it,” and that, “to be able to get into something, that makes you feel like a normal person.”

Now thanks to Movement Opportunities Via Education or Environment, or called the M.O.V.E program for short, he’s earning that ability back, one step at a time

“It gets you obviously moving, that’s the big step, it gets you more strength in your legs,” says Alex,

In support of the M.O.V.E program TBAISD has given more than $60,000 in equipment to students at Traverse Heights and the Life Skills Center.

Physical Therapist at TBAISD, Peter Bruning says these, “pieces of equipment enable students to participate in movement activities, primarily weight bearing activities, that they haven’t been able to in years.”

Implementing these movements into every day activity gives students more function at school and back at home.

“It’s freed up families to take their son or daughter out in the community,” says Bruning,  

“The more they can help just the easier and safer it is.”

Whether its pushing a button or taking your first step in years, Alex tells us the program is giving students the confidence to get out and move, “It builds you up more confidence by telling yourself you can do it and actually showing yourself you can actually do it.”

M.O.V.E is a comprehensive education program so both students and staff have committed to long term learning and implementation programs.

Click here for a TBAISD special education staff presented progress report highlighting results following the ISD’s investment in the M.O.V.E. program and advanced mobility equipment for students with severe disabilities.

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