My daughter Piper has a number of challenges, including three learning disabilities: dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. These disabilities impact her ability to read, write, spell and do math. After watching Piper in crisis at school for the past few years, and fighting unsuccessfully for what she needed, we had to pull her from the public school two-blocks from our house, and enrolled her at Loomis Gateway Academy last month. This small private learning center in the Sacramento region is the only school in Northern California (outside of the Bay area) dedicated solely to teaching dyslexic students.
In a little over a month at this specialized dyslexia environment, Piper has stopped feeling afraid of school! We are so hopeful for her, hopeful and grateful. But that’s not enough. After seeing first hand what it’s like to have a child with disabilities be in crisis, and feel powerless and demoralized in an inadequate educational environment - we want to save other students and families from that experience.
Kids with learning disabilities need specialized curriculum, interventions and remediation in reading, writing, spelling, and math. Most of all, they need HOPE.
Can you help us set up a scholarship fund to send more dyslexic students to Loomis Gateway Academy?
I just turned 40-years-old, and my birthday wish is to have an 80s dance party AND to make a difference in the world. To that end, I hope you’ll either generously give a donation to this scholarship fund and/or donate $25 per person to attend my 40th Birthday Dance Party Fundraiser on February 17th in Sacramento.
WHAT WILL DONATIONS BE USED FOR?
Tuition at Loomis Gateway Academy is currently $14,000 a year, well beyond reach for many families. The school is working to set up a non-profit Foundation to provide scholarships. Let’s help them kick-off their efforts! 100% of your donations will help pay tuition for families that could not send their dyslexic students to Loomis Gateway Academy otherwise. You’ll be sending a child to a school that builds up their skills for several years and then sends them back to their public school environments with the tools they need to be successful.
Please donate and help us spread the word about this effort.
Kristin Vandersluis (Mama Bear to Piper and Ian)
BACKSTORY / WHY ALL OF THIS IS NEEDED
Dyslexia can impact a child’s ability to learn all subjects. Recent data and public audits show the public school system in Sacramento, and California at large – are not remotely meeting the educational needs of students with learning disabilities. We had to learn this the hard way at a public school district that did not have the resources or appropriate training for their educators to recognize, refer for testing, diagnose, or provide evidence-based interventions or remediation for our daughter who we recently discovered has dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. As an example of dismissal of students with learning disabilities, Sacramento Unified School District, by their own admission, does not have a single person on staff with learning disability subject matter expertise. This in a district that serves over 40,000 students! And they refuse to involve experts when designing individualized educational programs for their disabled learners. It’s deplorable and educational malpractice. The result of these failings is children who are not properly identified as dyslexic or supported. Students like Piper then begin to be afraid to go to school. They are overwhelmed, kicked out of class for work refusal when their little brains can’t cope, they feel stupid, cry or hide under their desks at school. It’s heart breaking and demoralizing for students and families. We can do better.
While battling the special education failings within our school systems is a fight for another day, today we can do something positive by raising money to help more kids who are currently in crisis educationally.
Note: we may not be able to provide tax deductible receipts for up to 6 months, since that is the estimated timeframe for the newly created Loomis Gateway Foundation to receive it's non-profit tax id number.
DonationsSee top donations
- Carolyn Stallings
- Jaime Erickson
- Laura Lee Brennan
- Kristin Warren Vandersluis
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