A Smile as Big as the Moon: A Special Education Teacher, His Class, and Their Inspiring Journey Through U.S. Space Camp

Front Cover
Macmillan, Feb 6, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
3 Reviews

Besides being a football coach at his Michigan High School, Mike Kersjes taught special education classes, dealing with children whose disabilities included Tourette syndrome, Downs Syndrome, dyslexia, eating disorders and a variety of emotional problems.

One autumn Kersjes got the outlandish idea that his students would benefit from going to Space Camp, where, in conjunction with NASA, high school students compete in a variety of activities similar to those experienced by astronauts in training for space shuttle missions. There was only one problem: this program had been specifically designed for gifted and talented students, the best and the brightest from America's most privileged high schools.

Kersjes believed that, given a chance, his kids could do as well as anybody, and with remarkable persistence broke down one barrier after another, from his own principal's office to the inner sanctum of NASA, until Space Camp opened its doors, on an experimental basis, to special ed students. After nine months of rigorous preparation, during which the class molded itself into a working team, they arrived at Space Camp, where they turned in a performance so startling, so surprising, that it will leave the reader breathless. A truly triumphant story of the power of the human spirit.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Jclark5 - LibraryThing

This is the book I read for the book club we had in our class. It is a non fiction story about a special education teacher who has special dreams for his students. He is an incredible teacher who ... Read full review

A smile as big as the moon: a teacher, his class, and their unforgettable journey

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

A high school special education teacher in Michigan, Kersjes faced enormous odds when he decided that he wanted his class to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, AL, a program aimed at providing ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

PROLOGUE
3
1
7
2
16
3
25
4
35
5
44
6
49
7
59
15
126
16
136
17
144
18
153
19
165
20
172
PART THREE
185
21
187

8
72
9
75
10
84
PART TWO
91
11
93
12
102
13
109
14
117
22
195
23
204
24
213
25
227
26
241
27
252
EPILOGUE
273
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Mike Kersjes is president of Space Is Special Inc., a not for profit organization that helps special education students enhance their science and mathematics skills using space as a motivational theme. Mike has been a special education teacher and football coach for over 20 years with the Forest Hills Public School system and is currently working with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the University of California, Irvine. The film rights for his book have been sold to Jerry Bruckheimer for Walt Disney Pictures. He lives in Grand Rapids MI.

Joe Layden is an award-winning journalist andNew York Times best selling author. He lives in upstate New York.

Bibliographic information