Improving Student Outcomes Through Middle School Academic Success

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By Jen Ramming:
OpenDoors loves the middle grades because they are a true test of our methodology, which relies very much on our volunteer TeamLeaders and parents working together to support their students with a “Whatever it Takes” approach.  In order to ensure that our 6th graders are at a best-fit school that embraces who they are, both at school and at home, TeamLeaders help to facilitate a consistent connection between parents and school staff.  We also ensure that all kids have the opportunity for something inspiring and healthy to do after school, weekends, and on holiday breaks.

The sparkling young woman in this photo was frustrated and acting out until she discovered that she was dyslexic and received appropriate academic support.  Thanks to a caring parent, teachers and tutors, and a solid four weeks of Orton-Gillingham based academic support at Camp Spring Creek in the summers, she has experienced remarkable growth. As a result, she hit the ground running this fall at her new middle school. In fact, she has recently come home with straight A’s on her report card! She has many new friends, a new outlook, and the measurable results to prove that she is making great choices both inside and outside of the classroom.

During the upcoming holidays, our TeamLeaders are taking their students to concerts and performances, helping families participate in giving back to teachers, enrolling their students in generous programs for holiday gift giving, volunteering with kids so they too get to provide for those less fortunate than themselves, and much more. Multiple OpenDoors families will be sharing the Thanksgiving table together as evidence of the intentionally strong and diverse community we are creating.

During this season of gratitude, I want to extend huge appreciation to all of you who support OpenDoors’ students and their families. Together, we invest in local kids in need so that they, in turn, can learn to invest in themselves and make our greater-Asheville community exponentially stronger.

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