Kennedy Krieger High School's Young Marine Program Welcomes Former Commander

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March 04, 2004
Program teaches discipline, respect to students with behavior problems

BALTIMORE - "Attention! Forward march," shouts First Sergeant Vivian Price-Butler, commander of the Young Marine Program at Kennedy Krieger High School Career and Technology Center (CTC). Students in this program learn from esteemed authorities that respect and understanding for others will lead to success in life. Created as a boot camp-like replacement for Physical Education for some students with severe behavior problems, this program has grown to be the most popular extracurricular activity on campus.

Former principal of the CTC, Buzz Williams, will be returning at 1:30 p.m. on March 15 to the Kennedy Krieger Greenspring Campus to speak with students and staff about life as a Marine Reservist called up for active duty, as penned in his emotional retrospective, Spare Parts. Through his creation of the Young Marines Program, Williams was able to use his military background to create an innovative program for students.

Williams will engage juniors and seniors in a dialogue about the content of the book, writing as a form of therapy and the business process of writing and publishing this book. The CTC focuses curriculum on Career Clusters - Information Technology, Hospitality and Tourism, Construction Trades and Retail. Williams will relate the process of writing his book to these career initiatives.

Students involved in the Young Marines of Central Maryland, the only unit in the country made up of children with special needs, learn the physical and mental requirements of committing themselves to a rigorous program. Young Marines are involved in educational field trips and community service, as well as supporting their school through the Color Guard and acting as Goodwill Ambassadors at school events.

Williams created this program, with the blessing of the United States Marine Corp, first as a tool to get through to students with behavior problems. He conceded that it was also a form of personal therapy to stay rooted in the Marines.

"Even after discharge, I was still able to keep connected to the Marine Corp through the Young Marines," says Williams. "It was my lifeline to the Corps."

The Young Marine Program at Kennedy Krieger High School is designed to give students a "can-do" attitude. Through teamwork and encouragement, students are able to feel good about themselves, about their accomplishments and about being part of a unique organization.

At the CTC, students with serious, often multiple, learning, emotional, neurological and/or developmental disabilities participate in a unique instructional program that allows them to learn about all aspects of an industry, rather than one specific job. With this exposure to career clusters,' students develop the skills related to a specific area of interest in that particular industry, as well as the skills necessary for economic independence. The school's career clusters enhance students' learning by providing internships and on-the-job experience through industry partnerships.

Media Inquiries:

Allison Loritz, (443) 923-7335 or
(410) 336-0101

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