I know what many people picture when they think of the kids on our campus. They see THOSE KIDS – kids who are struggling, who have traumatic histories, who are fighting mental illness, and who exhibit disruptive and dysregulated behaviors…sometimes on a daily basis. This is part of who our kids are, but it is a very small part. I know because I teach them every day. I get to see who they really are.
I see that they are survivors. I see the young girl who has never been successful in school not only succeeding, but actually thriving. She is learning coping skills, social skills and academic skills. She has the confidence to work independently for the first time. She is learning to trust herself. She is learning to believe in herself.
I see that they are so incredibly talented. I see the young man who expresses his emotions through the most amazing art. I see the young girl who can turn one small thought into a poem that resonates with everyone around her. I see the young boy who has the ability to make anyone laugh with his quick wit and perfectly-timed sense of humor.
I see that they are growing. Setbacks still occur but they aren’t the end of the road – they are used to learn, grow and overcome. I see the 12-year-old who can look at data, identify his own patterns of behavior, and then set and monitor his own behavior goals. He is discovering he has the ability to be in control of himself. The focus is no longer his failures but his successes.
I see that they are amazing kids. They are so smart. They learn and create and accomplish new things in all of their classes. They are compassionate. I see them begin to care and connect with people, some for the first time in their lives. They give high fives and compliments and hugs and write letters to those that provide their care. They are capable of love.
THOSE KIDS are MY KIDS. I see the behaviors and mistakes and mental illness and trauma, but more than that I see the progress and potential and goals and dreams. I see that they just want a chance to be a kid. A good kid. A well-adjusted kid. A happy kid. This is what you are helping to give them by being a part KidsTLC’s healing community. Thank you for partnering with us to transform the lives of OUR KIDS.
Claire Therapeutic Learning Center at KidsTLC
English Language Arts Teacher
Special Education Teacher