Mike Kersjes

Mike Kersjes is the president of Space IS Special Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps special education students enhance their science and mathematics skills using space as a motivational theme. Kersjes has been a special education teacher and football coach for more than twenty 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, A Smile as Big as the Moon (St. Martin’s Griffin), have been sold to Jerry Bruckheimer for Walt Disney Pictures.

Published in Authors

A Smile as Big as the Moon

by Mike Kersjes with Joe Layden

Mike Kersjes always believed that his students could do anything - even attend the prestigious Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, where some of America's best and brightest high school student compete in a variety of activities similar to those experienced by NASA astronauts training for space shuttle missions. The challenge was convincing else that the kids in his special education class, with disabilities including Tourette's syndrome, Down's Syndrome, dyslexia, eating disorders, and a variety of emotional problems, would benefit from the experience and succeed. With remarkable persistence, Kersjes broke down one barrier after another, from his own principal's office to the inner sanctum of NASA, until Space Camp finally opened its doors. After nine months of rigorous preparation, Kersjes's class arrived at Space Camp, where they turned in a performance beyond everyone's expectations.

A Smile as Big as the Moon is being made into a feature film by Jerry Bruckheimer productions.

Published in Memoirs