Help us provide alternative education programs in NWA to help youth "Educate THEIR Way!"
raised by 72 people
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Did you know ...
- ... 1 in 5 Americans have a learning difference? YOUR donation helps provide alternative models to our youth and training for parents.
- ... CEN's Network Days is run entirely by volunteers serving over 500 families and 1000 students since its start up in May 2019? YOUR donation, helps keep costs low by helping with overhead.
- ... CEN provides support to low-income / single income families? YOUR donation makes scholarship opportunities possible.
- ... CEN connects with local businesses to offer educational and enrichment opportunities to our youth? YOUR donation helps supply material costs so our local business may more easily provide their services at lower costs.
- ... CEN works with certified dyslexic intervention specialists to provide tutoring for children in need for a fraction of the cost? YOUR donation directly sponsors a child age 8 or older who can not read due to dyslexia.
- ... CEN's Hybrid school program offers many of the same benefits of small classroom learning such as peer support, experienced tutors, hands on learning, drop-off services and more! YOUR donation helps provide books, curriculum, and scholarships for students needing alternative platforms.
RAVEN'S STORY: How We Began
Raven (name changed) was what seemed to be a "normal" toddler and preschooler. Shy, perhaps, but could carry on conversations when she had the mind to. She had the opportunity to attend a Montessori preschool and won a spot in the lottery to a local charter school for kindergarten. As the year progressed, Raven's parents noticed that academically she seemed to be "going backwards" even after working at home. Raven's academics were brushed off as "normal," or potentially a "late bloomer" by teachers. Raven's parents weren't convinced and their "gut" said homeschooling might be a better option to help "catch up."
At age 7, Raven was struggling to read and write despite being able to carry on detailed conversations in every subject. Clearly intellect was not a factor in her learning to read. Her parent's concerns were brushed off again as "somewhat normal" and potentially "not mature enough" to begin reading. It was true that "seat work" was Raven's least favorite thing and she excelled in athletics and engineering projects, but showed little interest in reading or writing. She could do mental math but couldn't seem to put her thoughts to paper and it took weeks to complete simple sentence copy work or journal entries. Feeling overwhelmed and quite defeated, Raven's parents began searching for options hoping something, somewhere might help.
Time and again the "fit" just wasn't right. Feeling demoralized and as failures as educators, Raven's parents decided to start an in-home co-op of their own around Raven's favorite subjects in STEM, science, and nature studies. Raven needed self-esteem boosting experiences and a less "formal" environment where the expectation to "sit still and listen" would not hinder creativity. The in-home co-op was feeling much better and gaining interest every month, but Raven's reading and writing was still not improving. At 10 years old, Raven could not pass first grade reading and was now feeling as though she was too "stupid" to learn. It was during one of these home meetups another mother suggested Raven might be dyslexic.
Research began, and Raven was displaying many of the "red flags" of a dyslexia. The public schools offered no support, would not allow Raven to come in for an evaluation, and denied entry into intervention programs with the excuse "that they could scarcely serve the children enrolled." Raven's family was forced to pay privately for testing that every other public school child received "FREE." The results of the evaluation would change their lives forever.
Raven was profoundly dyslexic, profoundly dysgraphic, and was struggling with an audio processing disorder and was advised NOT to enroll in any public school setting as her accommodation needs could not be met. Homeschooling was Raven's ONLY choice, and the tutoring costs would be upwards of $800 per month, which was not possible on their single income. Generous sponsors made it possible for Raven to begin intervention tutoring.
What could have been an excuse to quit, lit a burning desire to create alternative programs that allow families to "Educate THEIR Way" by connecting families to resources, offering support, and equipping and empowering our learners for success. In 2019, CEN officially became a nonprofit and our work began on a much larger scale.
This fundraiser supports
Choice Education Network Inc