“The beginning is the most important part of the work” – Plato

abernethy 2014-06

Each student we work with is a new beginning.  Solving academic challenges and eliminating barriers for students at risk for drop-out is like solving a puzzle or untangling a knot. OpenDoors is excited to have seen 35% total growth in resources, which allowed us to serve more students, train more teachers, and make greater impacts with the many students and volunteers whom we already know so well.  Approximately 70% of our support in 2015 came from individuals, family foundations and local businesses and we saw huge growth and sustainability in the 30% of income that came from grants. We thank all of you who made this growth and resulting impact possible!

In 2015 our community launched the Jill Rowe Abernethy Fund for Children in Need, securing resources and allowing for new beginnings for local students.  In her honor, Bill and their kids, Eli, Carson, Sarah and Gracie, have determined that this fund will help to support students with college potential who struggle with homelessness or unstable housing. Thanks to more than 100 of Jill’s family and friends, we have raised $15,000 to date in Jill’s name. (We are grateful to Drs. Marcy Sirkin and Lisa May for helping with heartfelt thank yous).  This investment provides the necessary foundation for increased student growth and achievement, which leads to a sustainable future for local kids and their families.

Student outcomes are the most important thing we share with you. That’s why we do what we do. We have documented significantly improved student reading scores in 100% of our students who receive Orton-Gillingham tutoring, showing at least double the growth than expected in reading, based on comparative school data.  A profound example of the impact we make through year-round tutoring is a troubled and struggling 7th grade boy, who increased his reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension by 1.16 years after only 8 weeks of summer intervention, not to mention his greatly improved self-esteem!  OpenDoors has many examples like this one that cumulatively change the fabric of our community as we stand beside and support students breaking the cycle of multi-generational poverty.

We look forward to on-going growth through your contribution of resources in the year to come, and encourage you to save the date for Art Affair March 5th, 2016, where we will continue to educate, elevate and celebrate our children, as we invest in them so that they, in turn, learn to invest in themselves.