Allie is one of Elim’s newer students, joining Elim’s family last year. But this short time has been life-transforming for Allie and her family. Her parents wrote to us recently saying,
“Upon Allie’s enrollment at Elim last spring, we noticed almost immediate, positive changes in Allie. She wants to get on the bus in the morning. She is excited to tell us what she will be doing the next day. She tells us about her peers’ interests or that she “started a band” with a classmate and now another classmate wants to join…
It is clear to us that God’s love is expressed through each and every individual at Elim and in every aspect of Elim’s program. The past year at Elim, Allie’s first, has made a positive difference that she will carry with her forever.”
Dear Elim Community & Supporters,
As relatively new members of the Elim family, we are writing this letter to tell you a little bit about our daughter Allie and the circumstances that led us into the arms of what we believe is one of the best educational settings for students with special needs.
From the moment that we learned of the special challenges Allie would be facing early in her life, we have been faced with a good amount of uncertainty about the resources available for her. What doctors would understand her condition? How would she fit into mainstream society? What opportunities would there be for social development? Would the mainstream educational setting be adequately capable of supporting and facilitating her needs?
As years passed, we did as much as possible to keep Allie included in the public school setting. The farther she progressed in school, the faster everything and everyone moved around her. The pace of the curriculum increased and the social skills of her peers developed more sophistication. Even with interventions in place and peers who were kind and helpful, she was unable to experience enough success to make her feel good about herself and good about school.
It wasn’t long before we became to realize that anxiety around school and the various levels to which she could fit in in the school setting dominated almost every aspect of Allie’s life, as well as our family’s life. On a daily basis, there was the stress of getting her ready for school and on the bus and then teachers trying to get her into the classroom and to transition her successfully between subjects. The pace of the social interactions with typically developing peers and the academic work added to her stress levels. Daily reports regarding her behavioral struggles would lead to us trying to establish expectations for Allie at home to support and improve her performance in school. Our evenings were spent debriefing with Allie about her daily challenges and struggling through whatever homework we could get done with her.
We were getting a clear answer to our question: Would the mainstream educational setting be adequately capable of supporting and facilitating her needs?
Upon her enrollment at Elim last spring, we noticed almost immediate, positive changes in Allie. She wanted to get on the bus in the morning. She was making transitions between classes. She was experiencing meaningful social interactions with similarly-abled peers. She was completing work in school. Her behavior was managed within school. She was completing homework. Our evenings are now spent discussing what she did in P.E., or Science and what she had for lunch. She is excited to tell us what she will be doing the next day. She frequently talks about her teachers and the program assistants, revealing the connection that they have all made with her. She tells us about her peers’ interests or that she “started a band” with a classmate and now another classmate wants to join! She tells us all about the class pets and the school’s service dog.
While we know that Allie’s previous school setting wasn’t a bad one by any means, we very quickly came to find that what Elim Christian School had to offer our daughter was special and unique in its own way. The outstanding quality of educational support we are experiencing at Elim is the direct result of the dedicated professionals; its teachers, para-professionals, therapists and support staff trained to work with students with varying levels of disabilities. But our Elim experience doesn’t stop there.
Elim Christian, thanks to its dedicated professional staff, cultivates an environment of warmth, acceptance and love for all children with special needs that is second to none. It is clear to us that God’s love is expressed through each and every individual at Elim and in every aspect of Elim’s program. We believe that it is this culture that has changed Allie’s life significantly. We always felt Allie’s previous anxieties were often the result of her sensitivities toward the adults around her, especially in school. Though, educationally challenged, she is very keen to the feelings of those around her. When challenges arise with Allie, it is clear that there is always a level of warmth and compassion coming from the professionals working with her at Elim. There is always a plan in place for her success. The past year at Elim, Allie’s first, has made a positive difference that she will carry with her forever.
When we look around Elim, we see a school with a solid foundation and a strong history thanks to the generous support of many. We see a school that is successful because of parents, community involvement, sponsors and supports of various constituencies. We know Elim is committed deeply to the idea of accepting students with special needs with the expectation that everyone can reach their God-given potential.
As Allie’s parents we can clearly see the difference Elim has made in her life and our family. If Elim can make such a difference for one student, we can only imagine the many other students at Elim who are currently benefitting from Elim’s educational program. As you consider your support we hope that you will consider the impact Elim has in our family and many other families who may one day find their way to Elim Christian School. Thank you very much for your consideration.
Jerry and Laura Mulvihill
It is the Standard of Elim Christian Services to admit children and adults to agency services regardless of race, color, national and ethnic origin, to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to agency service recipients. Elim Christian Services does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered policies. Read Full Disclosure.