Valley View Junior High in Jonesboro Arkansas has taken the initiative to give special education students a unique opportunity to take to the road, and prepare for driver’s exam. The adaptive driver’s program, is riding its way into more schools across the country.
After sixteen years of teaching, Tina Golden searched for a program that would give her special education students a crash course in being autonomous as they prepare for high school. That’s when the adaptive driver’s education course came to Valley View Junior High.
Valleyview Junior High is now one of few schools in the southeast to offer the adaptive drivers education course for special needs students.
Tina Golden introduced the concept to provide independence and accessibility to the roads, that they would not have had otherwise.”
Golden says she pitched the idea to the PTA. They agreed it would be wonderful to start the kids on the road to driving. After she got good parental type vibes with it she took it to the administration. They were all for it.”
The Valley View PTA purchased a forty-five-hundred-dollar golf cart, legal for driving on local roads, that golden could use to teach her adaptive students the signs and rules of the road, as they got behind the wheel.
Luke Munn is one of five students in the adaptive course. Confident that his now favorite class will help him to ace the test to obtain his learner’s permit in December.
Munn says, “it’s kind of fun to learn…when you’re with all your friends. And your teacher is teaching you.”
In the classroom, students repeat sample road tests online, until practice makes perfect.
Golden “our goal with this is to make our students as independent as possible. To be able to transport themselves when they get a job. Or do whatever they need to do in the community.”
The adaptive driver’s course paves the way for Golden’s students to not only take on new roads, but to take on the driver’s seat of destiny. And better adapt to life once they leave Valley View.