Teachers help mom and son Draven P. shine

Draven Pe-BlairMy son, Draven P., is no doubt a Shining Star. I’m sure all parents would say that about their child, but his amazing personality, infectious smile, and built-in desire for knowledge has made him stand out amongst the crowd. All of these assets were amplified by the compassionate staff at Lily Pond Early Learning Center. The teachers’ innate ability to help children learn and their ability to communicate effectively with myself, has given me more insight on what my child needs to grow and reach his full potential.

Every family faces challenges at one point of another. When Draven first entered STAR 4 Lily Pond Early Learning Center, our family was in transition from a two parent household to a single parent household. Undoubtedly, those changes left him confused and scared. This alteration also left us in a restricted financial situation. Now working full time, I questioned if I was going to be able to give my son the attention he needed to learn and feel comforted at this time of uncertainty. The compassion the staff had for Draven was undeniably abundant. The employees went out of their way to give him extra attention in order to let him know he was loved and safe. They also scheduled routine parent-teacher conferences, at convenient times, to show me exactly what progress my son was making, as well as areas that needed improvement. These accommodations gave me the ability to make the most of my limited time with Draven, while learning techniques to help him succeed.

The examples I have provided are but a few of the ways the staff have aided my son in becoming the intelligent child he is today. I would like to recognize Casey Shoup, Sara Ciaverella, and Megan Miller. Casey was Draven’s first teacher in the Keystone Babies classroom; I immediately saw his desire to learn, in every respect, increase. I attribute his ability to pronounce words and combine complete sentences largely to the effort Casey made to work with Draven and with myself, teaching me more effective ways to continue these developments outside of the classroom. He then transitioned into Sara’s Transitional Preschool classroom. There were more children there, but she never let him fall to the side. She always had ideas of how to nurture his assets and improve his abilities. Draven always talked of Sara at home; it is my belief that she gave him a lot of comfort when he needed it the most. Lastly, I would like to recognize Megan. Through every step of my son’s journey over the last two years, from Keystone Babies to his current classroom, Preschool, Megan, has been there. She was always helping, listening and going out of her way to ensure his education and safety.

Draven could say, spell, and practically write his full name by the age of three. He loves to read, can recognize letters and numbers, and engages amazingly with other children. When cognitively tested, some areas reached as high as age six. When he saw a flag on TV the other day, th stood up, put his hand over his heart, and said the full pledge of allegiance. When I asked him where he learned that, he replied, “School Mommy! I love school.” Much thanks to the Keystone STARS program for making such a difference in my son’s overall development.

Aleisha A., Draven’s mom, Blair County


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