In 2013, Arapahoe House profiled a mom in our New Directions program. Today, nearly three years later, she is still going strong and wants others to know how valuable the New Directions learning center has been for her son.
When my son started at the New Directions learning center, he was a quiet, sad and confused 3-year-old. We had experienced terrible things most people only see on TV or in the movies and he needed to find stability in the unstable world that my addiction exposed him to. He spent nearly a year receiving early childhood education in the same location where I received residential treatment for my addiction.
My son began to heal and then blossom in the learning center environment. The teachers brought out his true personality and transformed him into the kid he was meant to be. The learning center sparked an initial interest that has turned into a love for learning. Staff inspired him and encouraged him to explore his interests, and helped me as a parent too. Frequent teacher/parent interactions prepared me for how to relate with future teachers and what to expect.
Today, my son is a motivated, brave kindergartener, figuring out who he is and where he fits into the world. He loves being in the classroom and can’t get enough reading and writing. Every week, he brings home a list of vocabulary words to learn. When we read books together at night, he points out the words he recognizes. My heart swells with pride as I see him grow and thrive. All this started in the learning center.
I’m doing everything I can to promote his growth, including taking care of myself. I was so inspired by the teachers in the learning center that I’m enrolled at a community college and taking classes to become an early childhood educator. I never thought I’d make it this far in life. To think about where we were — to rewind and then play that tape in my head — makes me so emotional. The learning center not only set my son up for success in the classroom, it gave him the confidence to be great at anything he wants to try in life.