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Rise School of Huntsville has new home, playground

HUNTSVILLE – The Rise School of Huntsville has a new home on the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

These individuals collaborated for the Rise School of Huntsville to open on the UAH campus. From left, Jill Gardner, Dr. Robert A. Altenkirch, Jerry Lee and Caroline Bradford. (CONTRIBUTED)
These individuals collaborated for the Rise School of Huntsville to open on the UAH campus. From left, Jill Gardner, Dr. Robert A. Altenkirch, Jerry Lee and Caroline Bradford. (CONTRIBUTED)

Rise co-founder Jerry Lee of Madison signed a contract agreement that created a new foundation with UAH President Dr. Robert A. Altenkirch, Rise Board Vice President Jill Gardner and Rise Director Caroline Bradford.

The Rise School of Huntsville first opened in January at Trinity United Methodist Church on Airport Road. “Only six months later, we now have a home,” Lee said.

“We’re very excited about our new partnership with UAH. We not only are getting a new home for our children and teachers, but we’re gaining a foundation from which to build upon,” Lee said.

Recently, an anonymous donor gave $60,000 for a new playground for the Rise School.

The Rise School of Huntsville provides an exceptional preschool experience for all children, regardless of their unique abilities, Lee said. A master’s-level teacher and assistants lead classes, with the adult-to-child ratio at 1:2 to 1:4

“The school is also unique in that therapy services, such as physical, occupational, speech and music therapy, blend seamlessly into the curriculum,” Lee said. Instruction “empowers the children to learn life skills, not measured by any diagnostic tool, such as manners, respect, sharing and following directions.”

A child as young as six weeks old can enter the school and graduate at five or six years old, depending on readiness for kindergarten, Bradford said.

Altenkirch is pleased with the experiential learning opportunities that Rise will offer to UAH nursing and education students.

“When our son was turned down by local preschools because of his intellectual and physical disability caused by his Down syndrome, we knew there had to be a better way to provide a school where all children could learn side by side and remove any and all barriers to learning,” Lee said. “For our family, the school represents redemption.”

The school’s address is 5050 Technology Drive NW in Huntsville. For more information, call 256-489-7512 or visit riseofhuntsville.org.

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