National Grand Prix "Races" into Kennedy Krieger School

June 4, 2002
Kids with Disabilities Learn Important Lessons at Special Fun Day Evenr

BALTIMORE, MD - Kennedy Krieger High School/Career and Technology Center will be transformed into a mini racing complex on June 12 as students participate in a "Grand Prix Fun Day" from 8 a.m.- 11 a.m. Approximately 100 students, ranging in age from 14 to 21,will rotate through a series of educational "stations," all focused on racing.

National Grand Prix driver and local Baltimorean Marc Bunting will act as the Grand Marshall for the day's events, offering lessons in racing technology and performance. An American Viperacing professional who has driven to five top-10 finishes in the Grand Am Rolex Series, Bunting will be among the drivers racing in the National Grand Prix in Washington July 19-21.

Students will build and race solar powered cars, hone their communications and teamwork skills by changing a wheel of Bunting's GTS-R racecar, assemble and reassemble a car part, use deductive reasoning and problem solving skills to demonstrate why some racecars move faster than others, and more. The day will culminate with Bunting driving his car around a track at the Greenspring campus, with a few students acting as members of his "pit crew."

The Kennedy Krieger High School/Career and Technology Center is for students with serious, often multiple, learning, emotional, neurological, and/or developmental disabilities. Opened Sept. 7, 1999, at the former Children's Hospital on Greenspring Avenue, the school has grown from an initial enrollment of 45 students to approximately 150 today. These children have diagnosed disabilities that require special education services beyond what is available by the public school system.

The mission of the Career and Technology Center is to empower students to develop life-long learning skills in the home, workplace and community by facilitating partnerships with business and industry that support meaningful employment and independence for youth with disabilities. It is different from a typical vocational school in that children are exposed to more than one job in one of four industries - information technology, financial and consumer services, hospitality and tourism and manufacturing and building. A fifth industry soon will be added to the cluster: arts and communication.

The career challenges model, the core of the instructional program, is an original model that reflects a project-based, mastery learning philosophy. Students participate in a series of school-based, work-based and other activities, designed collaboratively with business partners, to teach students the skills necessary for success in the workplace. On-the-job training is an important component of this program and once the students demonstrate competency in a particular area, they are placed in internships. In return, Kennedy Krieger is committed to providing trained students who are skilled in a particular job and who also have a strong understanding of the industry.

Media Contact Inquiries:

Allison Loritz, (443) 923-7330
Julie Lincoln, (443) 923-7334