New summer program planned for youth with special needs

Elizabeth Dunham, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA - Karie Saxton has been told to take her special needs son to Traverse City to participate in their inclusive programming. Her response has been to make that programming available in Kalkaska.

“We live in an amazing community,” Saxton said. “As the mom of a special needs kid, I see the need for programming and activities that are fully inclusive.”

Saxton, who is the 4-H Program Coordinator at the Kalkaska County MSU Extension, applied for a Legacy Grant from the Michigan 4-H Foundation. The foundation awarded the extension with funds for a summer program for youth with special needs.

The program is called “4-H ACES,” which stands for “A Club where Everyone Succeeds.” Youth enrolled in the program can be a part of a baseball dream team and also choose to participate in a summer day camp and livestock programs.

Saxton shared that she already has had a very positive response from the community.

“I wasn’t sure what the support would be, but I knew it was a need. I should not have doubted!” she said.

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