|| HOME SCHOOL FOUNDATION
FROM THE HEART
Scholarship helps single mom meet special needs
|COURTESY OF THE CALABRESE FAMILY|
|Anna Calabrese with her son, Bobby, in 2000. An HSF scholarship enabled her to purchase a customized program that takes into account Bobby's Down syndrome and his own personal capabilities.|
A 19-year veteran of homeschooling who taught her two daughters through high school, single mother Anna Calabrese was familiar with homeschooling's rewards and challenges, but she knew she would have to design a unique educational program to meet 6-year-old Bobby's needs. When Anna heard about the Home School Foundation's Special Needs Children's Fund, she applied in hope that a scholarship might help her purchase the materials and help she needed.
Born with Down syndrome, Bobby faces many of the developmental challenges and health complications that accompany this condition. Anna marvels at Bobby's mental capacities. "He's pretty smart. He's outgoing. He's a very fun-loving child," says Anna, "and I want him to keep learning and growing."
The Special Needs Children's Fund enabled Anna to purchase a program and materials that help her teach Bobby basic concepts and much more. Through CAN-DO (Christian Access to Neuro-Developmental Organization), a program was specifically designed for Bobby that took into account his Down syndrome and his own personal capabilities. CAN-DO taught Anna how to help Bobby develop mental, motor, speech, and other life skills. She plans to go back to the CAN-DO training center for further instruction on special methods to reinforce Bobby's current skills and teach new ones.
Anna feels that the HSF scholarship came at an important time in her life. "Several days before it came," she recalls, "I asked the Lord to give me some kind of a sign that He was working in my life and would take care of me."
Her answer came in the form of a letter and scholarship check from HSLDA.
The letter said, "We pray that this event will give you cause to hope in the Lord!"
Anna responded, "That is just what I needed to hear! Thank you! I am very grateful for the scholarship!!!"
The generosity of Home School Legal Defense Association's members and friends makes it possible for the Home School Foundation to bless families like Anna's.
From the director
Families who are raising a child with special needs can tell you they face unique challenges and experience wonderful blessings. When parents decide that homeschooling is the best choice for their child, the additional responsibilities and educational expenses can feel overwhelming.
That's why HSLDA founded the Special Needs Children's Fund. When hardworking dads and moms, some of whom are single parents like Anna Calabrese, courageously step out onto the path of homeschooling their special needs child, they are no longer walking alone. Together we are lifting financial burdens and freeing families to bring new skills-and new hope-to their special children.
Chuck Hurst, Executive Director