Grace L. and momIt is a privilege that I have the opportunity to nominate my daughter Grace as a Shining Star participant in the Keystone STARS program.

Grace was born in a small Guatemalan/Mayan village in August 2006. Once her adoption processes were finalized, Gracie came home at 16 months of age.

Gracie has been enrolled full-time in Rose Tree Day school since age 3 [currently completing her third year]. Rose Tree Day School is a participant in the Keystone STARS program and holds a STAR 4A rating.

Since I am a single parent and Gracie is my only child, she had a rather challenging time transitioning to her preschool. During the first few months she would sit quietly by herself in a corner and not participate in classroom activities. She seldom engaged socially with her peers. Her teacher, Ms. Jess was extremely helpful in attempting to engage her in classroom activities and in expressing her thoughts/feelings. As Gracie describes, "she kept asking me to come over here and it will be okay." During this school year, my daughter had her tonsils removed and was absent from school for 6 days. The most special memory my daughter and I have was that her classmates prepared and signed a Get Well Card. Ms. Jess hand-delivered this card to our home. Gracie was so thrilled she took the card wherever she went during the remainder of her recuperation and decided to put it under her pillow at bedtime.

Since this time, Gracie has developed dramatically in terms of her learning and social skills. A few examples of these skills are described below:

  • Gracie can identify and write all uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • She can count to one hundred on her own with minimal assistance from her teacher [numbers 30, 40, 50, etc.]
  • Grace loves to recognize her own characteristics and the characteristics of others. She enjoys sharing stories about her family with the class.
  • Gracie shines with her listening skills. She is an attentive learner and can recall information that is presented to her in conversations, stories and books.
  • She uses her five senses to explore the classroom and her environment. She is able to compare, contrast and classify objects and data.
  • Finally, Gracie can express her feelings, needs, opinions and wants that are appropriate to the situation. She has a positive outlook and displays confidence in the tasks she undertakes. She is eager to join her friends in play activities.

To complement her preschool program, Gracie takes swimming lessons at the local YMCA. She is able to swim a half lap independently. Finally, she is a member of the Rose Tree Media Soccer league.

Based on her participation in a Keystone STARS program, I believe my daughter is well positioned to begin a kindergarten program.

Camille L., Media, PA


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