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A Smile as Big as the Moon

Mike Kersjes is the name of a real special-education teacher (and football coach), in Michigan. Mike doesn’t talk down to his “special” students. He respects them, and he believes they’re capable of achieving great things.

Mike hears about Space Camp, a competitive education program at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Even though it’s designed for gifted science students, Mike decides participating in the summer program would do wonders for the self-esteem of his young students, one especially who wants to be an astronaut.

He faced incredible obstacles in trying to make his improbable dream become an inspiring reality. At first, school administrators refused to buy in. The folks who ran the camp were less than encouraging; they’d never had a group of special ed kids apply before. Trying to raise the money to pay for the trip was a nightmare. The kids even put on a carwash!

But it was after they were finally given the green light that the real challenge began. How to get kids with Down syndrome, Tourette’s, learning disabilities and emotional problems to leave their baggage behind, to coalesce into a team, and to tackle a bunch of extremely smart students from top schools around the country?

After 9 months of rigorous training preparation the class molded itself into a working team where they turned in a performance so startling, so surprising that it will leave you breathless.

Mike Kersjes had an impossible idea. Yet he made it happen. A truly triumphant story of the power of the human spirit. You won’t want to miss it!

A Smile as Big as the Moon