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September 29, 2010

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September 29, 2010

T has always struggled in school. He learned to read late and felt "stupid." He underwent testing in the public school and they found nothing wrong with him, though he tested with a very low IQ (having been taken out of gym class for the test). His self-esteem suffered to the point that, as a 6th grader in public school, he was walking into school each morning with his head hanging low and coming home each afternoon asking if he was "mentally retarded." A very sporty kid, who loves to laugh and is thoughtful and generous, speaks French and English -- he is far from being cognitively challenged in any way. Finally, we couldn't continue to allow his self-esteem to be battered any more so I quit my job in order to keep him home and assess the situation. We had him tested privately and came up with a diagnosis of ADHD, a little dyslexia and learning disabilities in math and writing -- basically a different type of learner than the public school was able to cater to. Now knowing more what we were dealing with, we investigated the idea of his attending Walbridge School, where the teachers are trained in all sorts of methods of teaching different learners. The class size is very small - so small that 6 kids studying fractions in math class can all be at different levels and still progress each at their own rate. They teach kids from where they are in their learning rather than just expecting them to "catch up" and "adapt" (two phrases we heard a lot at the public school). Walbridge was extremely flexible in how T started to attend. He was very skeptical about school and didn't want to set himself up for more disappointment. He started with just academics and after 2 months was attending full-time. Now, in his 3rd month of full-time attendance, he is bringing home mostly a's and b's but more importantly, he is learning, progressing, is happy to go to school, his needs are being met and he sees himself as a smart, capable, normal boy! The change is dramatic. In fact, the individualized curriculum at school has much more to do with countering his ADHD symptoms than his medication for it and he no longer takes the medication. We could not be more thrilled with Walbridge. It is scandalous that public school can not help learners like my son, but that is the situation we are in right now and Walbridge gave us a solution.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

(see review, above)

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 29, 2010

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September 29, 2010

Walbridge is a wonderful school, and its teachers are very dedicated to ensuring that each child learns in their classroom and that of the other teachers at the school. Staff meet weekly to discuss strategies for each child. My son showed early signs of learning difficulty, and despite attempts in the public school to address his needs, his learning gap grew each year. Budget cuts in the district also meant that he was not getting quite the level of services he should have. Homework became a tearful ordeal and his self-esteem was crushed by the differences he could see in his progress from that of his peers. We decided a change was necessary and noticed a difference in our son within the first month at Walbridge. No more calling himself stupid, no more resistance to homework. He realized he COULD learn with instructor attention. As a middle schooler he is seeking out math challenges, and continues to comment that the teachers at Walbridge are able to help him, whereas at his previous school, whenever they would try, they would get called away to help another student. We are extremely grateful for what this school has done for our family and our son.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The confident learner our son has become.

More feedback...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Increasingly committed to the school's mission as they saw the happiness and relief of the children as they realized that they are capable learners.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Teach every elementary student to read at grade level before they get to high school. An endowment of this size would ensure that financial aid is available to any family that is willing to make the committment of service hours that the school requires.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 28, 2010

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September 28, 2010

The teachers at Walbridge do a fantastic job of helping each child there excel. Our son was learning so much more at Walbridge than at his previous school, and he was extremely happy there as well. You will be so happy that you made the change!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helping students overcome their learning challenges and do their best.

More feedback...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 28, 2010

more

September 28, 2010

Walbridge School is a private school for grades K-8. The philosophy of the school is adapting teaching methods based on how each child learns. My son attended from grades 3-8. If this school was not available to us, we probably would have moved out of state. My son is a unique individual and the public schools are a "one size fits none" type of operation. Kids at Walbridge are assessed as to their abilities and learning styles. Because it is a small school, all of the teachers communicate as to which approach is best for each child. I joined the Board based on our experience. I strongly believe that every child can and should be successful in school and Walbridge School has the experience and philosophy to make this happen.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

allowing my child to progress at his own pace, excelling in areas of talent and being supported in areas of need.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

publicize its successes so that every parent of every child who is not living up to their potential in school would know about this alternative.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the successes of every child, including my own as they grow into adulthood.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredibly devoted to the unique qualities of each child and their ability to learn.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

transform the lives of so many children and families in south central Wisconsin

Ways to make it better...

I had known about this school before we attempted public school.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial constraints.

One thing I'd also say is that...

if it weren't for this school, I would no longer be living in Madison, WI.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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