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School for Handicapped Reopens Doors

LAWTON Okla_ 7News has new information on Lawton's Greiner School for the Handicapped. They opened their doors to their students this week after being in jeopardy of having to close their doors for good at the end of the last school year. 

As we reported back in July, their funding had run out and they knew they wouldn't be able to pay their staff or for all the things that are needed to run a school.  Things have changed for the better since then.

The Greiner School found a way to stay open, thanks to donations from the community. Plus, the teacher and bus driver decided to volunteer. That doesn't mean they are out of the woods, though.

The air conditioning has been out in the building where the classrooms are, so the students and teacher spend the whole day in the lunch room. Class started Monday at the Greiner School, which was a month later than normal. At least it's open, which didn't seem likely at the end of the last school year.

President of the Greiner School Board Barbara Reynolds said the Greiner School has always been an important part of her life, because her mother taught there for 40 years.

Reynolds said that back when Robert Greiner was alive, the school was a different place.

"It was vibrant," Reynolds said. "It was alive. There were things done in the community. The students learned how to do things."

Reynolds said they used to have cooking, sewing and gardening classes, so they could learn things they could apply in their everyday lives. Reynolds said they plan on going back to that.

Greiner School Teacher Cynthia Salas said she was devastated when she heard they might not be able to have school this year.

"I thought of these guys and where they would go," Reynolds said. "A lot of them don't have anywhere to go, and a lot of them grew up here with these guys. They're friends. They've made friends. They're kind of like family."

Aside the fact that funding the school is an issue, everyone is just happy to be back in their routine.

"Everybody needs to feel that they can be as independent as they can possibly be, and they need to get the acknowledgment for the things that they do," Reynolds said.

Right now, the only paid employees at the Greiner School are the office manager and the thrift store manager. That money is coming from the thrift store.

Reynolds encourages anyone to help by volunteering or donating.

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