Rise Up!

rise upThe Rise School of Huntsville is a pretty special place. It says it all right there in the logo: “Where special kids shine.” In 1974, the first Rise School in the nation opened its doors in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and promised something bold at the time: to provide students with developmental disabilities an exceptional education. An education that didn’t isolate students with disabilities, but instead grouped them together with their typical peer—providing an inclusive environment where both typical ability students and their disabled peers could learn from one another.

Today, there are only 7 schools like it in the nation.

Huntsville Rises Up rise school huntsville al

In 2012, the Rocket City got a Rise School of our own. The Rise School offers attention, specialized care and a proven curriculum to young children, regardless of their ability. In fact, Rise keeps a 50:50 ratio with and without special needs in order to create the optimal learning culture for young children. Learn more on the Rise School’s website.

There is such a demand and need for this type of inclusive education that the Rise School offers, that a waiting list has emerged. Not all local parents who want to send their students can.


Rise School Students

Caroline Bradford, director of the Rise School of Huntsville, says that the goal is to one day have the facilities and supplies to be able to accommodate every child on the waiting list.

But that takes money.

And for a nonprofit that is required to raise 85 cents on every dollar spent, it will take the community coming together in support of this exceptional program.

“In this economy, many families need financial help to provide for their children,” Bradford said. “It is gut wrenching to see a family come to the school and know that it provides all their child’s educational needs, and yet they cannot afford it.”

How You Can Help Connect Logo Huntsville Alabama

To generate supplies and funds for Rise, Leadership Huntsville/Madison County’s Connect Class 16 class members are organizing Rise UP!, a family fun day at KidVenture on January 24th from 3 to 8 p.m. Bring the kiddos after school to KidVenture, a sprawling 10,000 sq. ft. indoor playground complete with giant slides. HALF of $11.50 the general admission will go directly to the Rise School.

Food trucks, live music, clowns, face painters, Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theater characters, TOPPS the Astronaut from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Burritt on the Mountain and puppet shows/storytelling hours from the folks at the Huntsville/Madison County Public Library will make for a fun afternoon for a great cause!

Bring School Supplies; Win Prizes


Rise School students

You can bring a general school supply (ages 0-5) like crayons or Clorox wipes and be entered to win some pretty neat door prizes including  VIP tickets to the Taste of Home Cooking Show & Expo, tickets to the Huntsville Museum of Art, U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Burritt on the Mountain and much more.

The more school supplies you bring, the more entries you’ll get toward your favorite door prize.

If you don’t have time to pick up a school supply before the event, no worries! You’ll also have the chance to purchase door prize entries with cash. All proceeds for Rise UP! will go directly to the Rise School of Huntsville.

Supplies Needed:

  • Clorox wipes
  • Construction paper
  • T-shirts (infant to child L)
  • Educational toys (1 year -5 years of age)

Event Information: Rise Up! for the Rise School of Huntsville

Date: January 24, 2014
Time: 3:00 to 8:00pm
Location: KidVenture
Address: 500 Lanier Road, Ste D, Madison
Cost: Price of admission to KidVenture (Kids 10 & under- $11.50) parents, adults and children 10 & over who do not utilize playground facilities, there is no cost

About the Author: Jessica Carlton

Jessica Carlton, a current class member of Leadership/Huntsville Madison County’sConnect Class 16 is a native of Huntsville, Alabama. The Marketing Manager at theHuntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jessica spends her days telling the unique story of the Huntsville/Madison County community. An avid pet lover, Jessica enjoys snuggling with her adopted pups Grantham and Lilly, going for walks and exploring her constantly evolving home town of Huntsville, Alabama.

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