A Rendering Of Our New High School Building
A Rendering Of Our New Media and Technology Center
A View Of Our New Clasrooms

DREAM PROJECT: Life Skills Center
$500,000 Naming Pledge

The increase in the number of young people diagnosed on the autism spectrum in the last 14 years has been staggering — from 1 in 152 in 2002 to an estimated 1 in 59 today. For kids with learning and attention issues (such as Dyslexia and ADHD) the number is even greater at 1 in every 5 children! Unfortunately funding and focus has remained centered on helping younger kids cope. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of children turn 18 every year. They are often as smart, or smarter, than their peers, but they go to college in far fewer numbers. They are even less likely to go to college than people with most other disabilities. These young people are also likely to end up in low-wage jobs, dependence on public assistance or ongoing reliance on their parents — who may also be struggling and are unlikely to outlive them.

Our new Life Skills Center will focus on helping high school age students (up to age 21) transition from school-age to adulthood. Students will learn Daily Living Skills to manage personal finances, household management, personal needs, family responsibilities, food preparation, citizenship responsibility and leisure activities. They will learn Self Determination and Interpersonal Skills to help develop self-awareness, self-confidence, socially responsible behavior, good interpersonal skills, independence, decision-making and good communication skills. Employment Skills, Technical Skills, College Opportunities and Job Preparedness is also part of our program. Students learn appropriate work habits, how to seek and maintain employment, physical/manual skills, and specific job competencies that open doors to employment possibilities and choices in the 21st century.

Weekly workshops and one-on-one peer mentoring will be implemented to meet students’ needs. Morning Star School will partner with community leaders to help these young individuals become productive, responsible, functioning members of society. With the cooperative efforts of parents, teachers, and our supportive community, students are afforded the opportunity to learn, to thrive and to succeed both during and after high school.

Below are a few sites/articles that will help you become more familiar with special education and our Life Skills Center project…

  • Life Centered Education: A Product of the Council for Exceptional Children; Our Life Skills Curriculum. CLICK HERE
  • Teaching life skills to students on the autism spectrum CLICK HERE
  • Learning Disabilities Report: 1 in 5 children are affected. CLICK HERE
  • The State of Learning Disabilities: Understanding the 1 in 5. CLICK HERE


For a tour of the school, a look at the proposed facility, or to discuss ways you can help our school continue serving children with learning differences, please contact Maria Johnson at development@morningstar-jax.org. 

Our future Life Skills building sits next to our existing campus. It is currently a 2,000 SF 3 bedroom/2 bath Single Family Home.

The building will eventually accommodate a large working kitchen with mutiple stoves and ovens, a meeting room and 3 classrooms combining daily living skills and occupational skills.

“Our high school students learned how to make pizza today! This is a place where students learn needed skills to live on their own after high school – no matter what they decide to do or where they decide to go”

Erica Carter

High School Coordinator

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