CCRI and Muscatell Subaru

Learning Lane
Imagine you have an eager-to-learn 6-year-old boy who is ready for kindergarten. You have all the supplies the paper, pencils and crayons, and you are as nervous as he is for his first day. Can you envision the excitement of meeting his first teacher, the person who will mold one of his first experiences with learning outside of your home, the person to whom you will entrust your precious child?
Imagine standing in line at registration holding your son's hand, you with all the nerves; him with unlimited eagerness. Imagine the uneasy way the principal invites you into his office and the sound of the door closing behind him. Imagine your heart sinking when you are told they are unable to teach your son, you vaguely hear no staff, no resources over the loud thumping of your heart.
This is the story of what Lane and his mother experienced in Ulen, Minnesota, in the 1970s.
Lane's mother left kindergarten registration that day determined, determined to provide documentation that a child with
a disability was entitled to an education just like everyone else. She was absolutely correct and provided the needed documents to the school.
The Ulen school district wasn't ready for Lane so they suggested his family take him to Moorhead for half-day school. For two years, Lane's mother drove him 35 miles each way, regardless of the weather, so he could get an education just like every other child. This determined mother drove 70 miles a day, 350 miles a week, 1,400 miles a month. She drove nearly 11,000 miles during one school year just so Lane could receive the education he was entitled to.
When Lane was eight, he was ready for full-day school. Luckily for the family, Lane was invited to stay with a Moorhead family during the week. Every Monday morning, Lane's father dropped him off in Moorhead and they wouldn't see him until they picked him up on Friday afternoon. Imagine your child going through the trials of grade school without you there day in and day out. Imagine not being there to help him sort out and make sense of it all. This was life in the 1970s for people with disabilities.
In 1977 a group of local families gathered together to change this. This group of people dreamed of a better life for their sons or daughters. Better, or at least equal.
Some in this group had their children living at home with them while others had their family living in state institutions that were little more than holding cells for people who just needed a little bit of kindness and some extra support.
No matter their situation, these families shared the same dreams. They wanted their children to learn in school; to have friends; and to be welcomed in their community. All simple ideals we take for granted today. But back then, the group faced countless social and personal barriers.
But they preserved and completed the process of obtaining a 501-c3 non-profit status. Their next step was to build a house in Moorhead to give their children a regular living environment. After following all the steps and meeting with the public, the group was turned down by the city of Moorhead. Try as they might, they could not find a neighborhood willing to accept a home for their kids.
So they looked elsewhere. The city of Hawley welcomed the group and CCRI's first home was established. These families saw their dream become a reality and knew that the secret in moving forward was for the community of Moorhead to see disability not as a tragedy but as a something that some of us experience in life.
This is the dream CCRI is built upon. After countless hours with people in the Moorhead community and many more city council meetings, CCRI purchased an empty lot in the middle of a sunflower field.
We were one of the first homes to be built in what is now known as the Village Green Development. And CCRI did not stop there: We now have more than 30 homes throughout Moorhead and we're proud to support more than 400 people with disabilities in our community. We are the sixth largest employer in Moorhead with more than 475 team members.
Lane moved into that house in Village Green 35 years ago. It's been our pleasure to accompany this amazing and talented man on his life's journey. Together we have shared graduations, births, deaths, weddings, holidays, and retirement parties. He is one of CCRI's biggest cheerleaders and we are so proud of his many accomplishments.
Lane's story is a single indication of the vast story of CCRI. When you support CCRI, you are supporting the ideals that have helped people for decades. No matter what the need, our talented and amazing team is there with creative and customized solutions for the people we support.
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