Readers’ Views

Masons appreciate local support

To the Editor:

On behalf of Chain Lake Lodge 64 Martin County Area Masons, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to area businesses, sponsors and patrons for their donations, services and attendance this year in making our 25th annual spaghetti supper scholarship fundraiser a success. Had we not received those generous monetary donations and community support, we would not have been able to achieve our goal.

This year, with the assistance of matching funds up to $3,000 from the Minnesota Masonic Charities Community Scholarships Program, we will award six $1,000 scholarships to Martin County Area high school seniors pursuing higher education after graduation.

A huge thank you goes out to the staff and congregation of Grace Lutheran Church for again donating the use of their wonderful kitchen/dining area to prepare, cook and serve our community scholarship fundraiser and appreciation meals on March 12-13.

James Freeman

and Masons scholarship committee members

Chain Lake Lodge 64, Fairmont

Transition will not wait for you

To the Editor:

I first heard about “transition” back in the 1980s. As the parent of a student in special education, it was suggested that we plan for where we wanted to see our child in the next five years and on. My first reaction was I just want my sons to get on the bus tomorrow. I couldn’t think beyond that, much less 5 or 10 years away.

And I never did plan for what would happen five years away. What I did do was take advantage of every workshop I could find just to hear what other people were doing that might fit into our life. I never planned for it, but attending these workshops gave me the information I needed when I needed it. And it worked together into a successful transition plan.

When one of my sons was 6 years old, I enrolled him in kindergarten. Six weeks later, I was called into the principal’s office and told my son could no longer go to school because, with his disability, he could not keep up with the class and there were no special education classes at that time. There didn’t seem to be a future for my two sons with disabilities in our community.

However, the next year, a special education class was available in a neighboring school and my sons started the education process. And opportunities started developing. Both boys had graduated and were working at MRCI when I first heard about semi-independent residential services and the opportunity for home ownership at an Arc workshop.

Today the student who could not attend school because of his disability is now living in the home he just paid for with his brother in the best neighborhood in Fairmont, especially when it comes to neighbors.

Transition will happen whether we are ready for it or not. Families of transition-age students have the opportunity to attend the PACER workshop “ABC’s of the IEP for Transition-age students” at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at Grace Lutheran Church, hosted by the Faribault-Martin County Transition. Please register at PACER.org/workshops or call (800) 537-2237.

Lee Ann Erickson

Fairmont

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