Special Needs

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Grant helps LifeTown expand programming

A facility that helps special needs students gain skills for independent living is expanding its programming through a grant from the Columbus Foundation.

LifeTown Columbus received a $20,000 award from the Henry E. Coyle, Frances M. King and Anna C. Dixon funds. The money will be used to boost life skills education focused on healthy living, reading and responding to social cues as well as exposing students to technology. Part of the grant will help fund a staff member to operate Milo, a robot that engages children on the autism spectrum and teaches them social behaviors.

The 5,000-square-foot New Albany facility, which has been open since 2008, is set up like an indoor village where children with special needs can practice life, social and pre-employment skills through role playing.

Last school year, 1,345 students from 20 public districts and six private schools visited LifeTown-one of two facilities of its kind in the country.

To learn more about this unique program, check out our LifeTown Columbus story.