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Edmund's School Tuition

$7,460 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 64 people in 5 months
Created July 30, 2018
Edmund Joseph is a wonderful 12 year old boy who was born with a cleft lip and palate and an extra thumb on his left hand.  He has had over a dozen surgeries - the first one when he was only four months old.  He is a happy, loving boy who has taught me the meaning of unconditional love, patience, and appreciation of the small things in life.  If you would like to know more about Edmund, you can visit his CaringBridge page at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/edmundjosephreese

31759494_1533006061232525_r.jpegThis picture was taken when he was almost 6 years old.

In January of this year my sweet 5th grade boy was diagnosed with Autism, and finally all the dots were connected.  I have always known that Edmund is special, and now I can help him get the education that will be the most effective for him. 

He was teased in school this past year, and he felt unsupported by his homeroom teacher.  He is worried about going back to this local public school, so I have been looking at options.

In June he was accepted at the Independence Academy, a wonderful private school just a few blocks from my work!  We toured the school and Edmund took a placement test.  The staff and students made him feel very welcome, and he loves it there.  It is a school which serves high functioning students on the Autism spectrum, with teachers who are especially trained to meet the unique needs and challenges of these young people.  https://www.iaindiana.org/ 

The school does not accept the state voucher, so even with the financial assistance offered to us, I will still have to pay $7,200 for the year.  I gave up hope and have inquired at four local parochial schools and other public schools, but no one will take Edmund because either there are no seats available or there just aren't enough special education teachers.  I simply can't send him back to the local public school where he is afraid of being bullied and believes the teachers won't support him.

I am currently in the middle of a very difficult divorce, having been a victim - make that survivor - of domestic violence.  Edmund's father is paying nothing to support him and his five brothers and sisters who still live at home with me.  I humbly ask that, if your heart is moved to help us, please (1) pray for Edmund that he will have a successful school year wherever he ends up going, and (2) please consider contributing to his tuition so that he can attend this wonderful school that will be able to meet his needs.

The first day of school at Independence Academy is August 9th.  I have about one week to make a commitment to the school, which means I need to know that I will be able to honor the tuition agreement.  I would be so grateful if I am able to send Edmund to Independence Academy, because he would be able to get an education that is perfectly tailored to his needs, and he would be just a few blocks away from me.  Thank you for reading our story, and thank you for your prayers.
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Update 4
Posted by Gina Reese
13 days ago
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I can hardly believe that we have begun the second semester. Edmund's new school has turned out to be better than I even imagined. He is so happy to go to school every single day! He is learning so much, and at home on weekends and during breaks he is making up "school" for himself, such as making lists of the different types of clouds or all the adjectives that begin with "B". He impressed his art teacher so much that he has entered some of Edmund's work in an exhibition. At recess he discovered that he is a champion on a pogo stick! When he wore out the tip, one of his teachers found a way to repair it using the tip from a walker. Edmund will be singing a solo in the winter program, and he was on the honor roll during the first semester.

But the most striking thing is that Edmund is HAPPY.

He turned 13 just before Christmas. He excitedly told everyone that he is a teenager now. I feel so honored and privileged to be Edmund's mom. He is truly a special person.

At the school Veterans Day program, one of Edmund's teachers pulled me aside. Apparently one day at school Edmund declared, "I'm so glad I have autism, because if I didn't, I wouldn't get to go to Independence Academy." That says it all.

Thank you to all of you who made it possible for him to be in a school with people who affirm him for who he is, challenge him to be the best he can be, and give him the support and encouragement to achieve his dreams.
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Update 3
Posted by Gina Reese
5 months ago
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Edmund started sixth grade today! He was both excited and nervous, but his teachers welcomed him and immediately helped him feel like he belongs. Right away they helped him read his class schedule and understand which rooms he needs to go to. This afternoon he told me that he loves his new school. I can't tell you how grateful and happy I am that he has this opportunity.

On Tuesday I made a payment of $6,000 to IA, and as the funds are released I will pay the remaining balance. Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart! You have made a dream come true for us.
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Update 2
Posted by Gina Reese
5 months ago
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Yesterday Edmund and I went shopping for his school supplies. He is especially proud of his headphones. I have set up withdrawals, and I will make a payment on his tuition on Tuesday when we attend Meet the Teacher day at Independence Academy. This is a dream come true...
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Update 1
Posted by Gina Reese
5 months ago
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I told Edmund this evening at dinner that it looks like he will be going to Independence Academy after all, and he flashed a huge smile and pumped his arms! I can't tell you how grateful I am for everyone's support of my sweet boy. We have almost reached our goal!

We are going shopping for supplies this weekend, and he goes to meet his teachers next Tuesday. I can't wait to see what this year will bring. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
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$7,460 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 64 people in 5 months
Created July 30, 2018
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