New Program Aims to Increase Financial Aid for Special Needs Students

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The Vivian B. Adams School in Ozark wants to be able to serve more students.

In response to on-going budget cuts it needs help from the community.

For some Vivian B Adams school is like a second home.

"My student here is 31. He's been at Adams School for 23 years. We've been in and out for a long time, we've seen a lot of growth and a lot of change," Resource Coordinator Susan Owens.

A lot of change and even more budget cuts.

"Funding over the years has been cut and it costs a lot to serve these individuals, to go to counties and pick them up all of these costs continue to rise," Director Hannah Barker said.

Costs continue to rise and the waiting list for the school goes up each year as well.

In Alabama more than 3,000 people are waiting to get into facilities like the Adams School.

In Dale County there are 22 on the waiting list.

"We have a lot of people who say, "What can I do?” If we can do some tuition aid, we can serve more people, we have room for more - we just need to fund and get them into the program," Owens said.

Now there's a new way for the community to help, it costs just $20 to be a part of the “Friends of Vivian B. Adams Program and you get some discounts at local restaurants.

The minimum annual $20 membership fee helps fund classroom resources and tuition aid.

"For a person to come here, it gives them a sense of self worth. It's like a job. It gives them a routine. It gives them something to look forward to everyday," Owens said.

The school serves 140 special needs students of all ages from 6 Wiregrass counties.

They range from pre-school to 80 years old.

If you’re interested in getting a membership call the Vivian B. Adams School at (334) 774-5132.

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