Trying to figure out how to help a child experiencing behavior issues, color blindness, hearing loss, ADHD, and dyslexia would be a challenge for any parent. It also would be a recipe for classroom disruption and even expulsion from many schools. For Wendy Brown and her son, however, the teachers at Chapel Hill Academy and counselors at Lena Pope were instrumental in helping to make a difference for the family.
Wendy's oldest child, Jaiden, was the first family member to attend Chapel Hill Academy, Lena Pope's open-enrollment, tuition-free public charter elementary school. She graduated in 2015. Following in their sister's footsteps, siblings Antonio and Dorien are also proud Eagles. While each child has benefitted from attending the charter school, the impact for Antonio has been life-altering.
"School has been very difficult for him," Wendy expressed. "Instead of turning their backs on my son, the teachers and staff have helped mold him and worked with him and loved him."
Teachers and administrators provided diagnostic testing, spent countless hours working to ensure success, and created a behavior plan specific to his needs to help him thrive in the classroom.
Efforts of the Chapel Hill Academy staff and knowing they are fighting to find a solution together provided comfort to Wendy. That solution included referring Wendy and Antonio to Kent Bass, a therapist at Lena Pope, so the family could receive counseling services.
"I was impressed from the beginning because he listened to both Antonio and me. He came up with a plan and we set goals together. No other therapist did that with us," Wendy explains.
"Antonio has been in behavior therapy since he was 3 and no one has made an im-pact like Mr. Kent has in his life! He gets Antonio to open up to him and explains things in ways that he can understand."
In conjunction with the services provided by Mr. Kent, Wendy applauds Second Step, the Social-Emotional Learning program offered at Chapel Hill Academy. The Second Step program is designed to teach children how to understand and manage their emotions, control their reactions, be aware of others' feelings, and have the skills to problem-solve and make responsible decisions.
"Antonio is learning how to own his feelings and to understand his emotions better," she shared. "He is doing so great at school this year and is much happier. Your services truly make a difference and our lives would not be the same without Lena Pope."