When the Simonsen Iron Works building in Sioux Rapids was gifted to Sioux Central Community Schools by owners Dave and Joan Bailey, Supt. Dr. Bonnie Meier saw numerous opportunities which would be beneficial to the school.
But when Supt. Meier asked high school teacher Eric Boge if he was interested in any of the space, even he didn't realize what an impact it would have on the students and the community.
At the beginning of the school year, Boge and his five students took 500 feet of office space at the old building and turned it into their classroom. Instead of having a chalkboard and desks, however, they made themselves an efficiency apartment, complete with all the amenities of home. Once the apartment was fixed up, they began concentrating on their laminating business, community service projects and the recycling of pop cans and paper.
Two weeks ago they spent many hours at their apartment baking cookies, decorating for the holidays and getting ready for their first open house. Over 80 people signed the guest book at the open house On Nov. 18 and all were very impressed with what the teacher and the students have accomplished. The program is called Life Skills and it's been a rewarding experience for not only Mr. Boge, but especially for his students, Michael Estep, Bill Goehl, Justin Thies, Chris VerMulm and Aaron Meister. But perhaps the most remarkable story behind this program is the students are all Level III, mentally challenged kids.
Read the rest of this article in the 11/28 Pilot Tribune.