We need help sending our son Blake to a private school that seems perfectly tailored to him. It is the Just Right Academy.
Blake is now 10 1/2 years old and has had a very complicated history. When he was 15 months old we began noticing he wasn't acting like other toddlers his age. We were refered to Early Intervention services and that was the begining of our long and continuing journey. He has been to so many therapists, been a part of many social skills programs, and day treatment programs.
Blake has mental health issues including mood instability and anxiety, learning disabilies like dsylexia and executive function delays and sensory proccessing issues. Many people who meet him feel he is on the autism spectrum but he is not. He also sometimes has halting speech patterns and pronouciation issues but has always just barely passed the testing and has never been able to get help. He has been to 3 different elementary schools. Each school took away a bit of his self esteem, his confidence and increased his knowledge gaps.
The great news is he has a very high IQ and has the ability to do whatever he wants in life. The bad news is that due to all the struggles I mentioned earlier he fights to learn how to read, to write, to organize his thoughts and how to act in many social situations.
This combination of things has made learning in a traditional school environment extremely difficult for him. He struggles concentrating in a classroom of 20 or more kids. He is grades behind his peers in reading, and although he is making great strides, it makes it hard for him to be on grade level in classes like science and social studies because he cannot read the same material as his classmates. Or write the answers to test questions or do written reports or projects.
We have found a school for Blake that not only tolerates kids like Blake but has a passion for them. They love quirky kids. All the teachers are trained in a specialty program to teach reading called Orton-Gilligham. The school works with kids to figure out the best way they learn. For example, they started an outdoor ed program for kids who want to spend their days outside. It allows the kids to focus on their more traditional school work in the morning knowing that they get to be outside in the afternoon. And while outside they are reading books, learning to fly fish, and much more.
We know that this school will be the perfect place for Blake to grow. To become the student that has been hidden and broken inside him. For him to catch up on his educational gaps. For him to learn to make and keep friends.
The catch is the school is expensive and prohibative to us. The cost is high due to the incredibly low student/teacher ratio, creative programing, and extensive training among many other reasons. The amount we are currently trying to raise is the balance for one year. Blake also doesn't qualify for many of the scholarships and funding out there because he isn't on the spectrum, isn't in foster care and wasn't adopted.
We are paying as much as we can afford to the school, and they have agreed to give Blake financial aid but we have agreed to try to bridge that gap as best we can. Any amount of money is greatly apprecaited and welcomed. $5, $10...anything! The school is an official non-profit and holds a 501(c)3. If anyone would like to make a donation of $250 or more, you can do so in Blake's name, by sending a check directly to the school and you will recieve a reciept for tax purposes.
Just Right Academy is the place Blake needs to be. On the top of their webpage they state: "Education for the rest of us". They have 3 rules. Be kind. Follow Directions. Do your best and be your best. There isn't a better place for him to be.
Just Right Academy
c/o Blake Levow-Guerra
PO Box 3523
Chapel Hill, NC 27705
DonationsSee top donations
- Mia Levinson
- Bryan and Ellie Nelson
- Christy, Trevor, and Kaitlyn Winnell
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