Thursday, June 4, 2009

End of Bright Stars Pre-K

Today marked the last day of Elena's first year of pre-K. It has been AWESOME. She has made some incredible progress this year, and the staff at Stone Robinson for the Bright Stars program are amazing.

When we first started the program, Elena had just started using words in a sentence. She had to take one word for each breath. She had problems pronouncing nearly half the sounds of the alphabet. She's now a complete chatterbox, and has very little pronunciation difficulty. She loves singing and even makes up songs herself.

Before pre-K, Elena did not have the opportunity to interact with her peers. Now she looks forward to playing with friends, and loves games, dress-up, and other peer activities. She is quite social.

Before school, the only place Elena was comfortable getting around independently was one floor in our home. She now readily will try to walk on any flat surface, regardless of terrain (carpet, hardwood, cement, etc.) and will use her crutches with contact guarding.

Here is a clip of Elena and some of her classmates (they couldn't all fit in the camera view) singing the first of three songs at the end of the year Bright Stars Party. She can be a little shy, at first (she did better during the second song, not filmed). She also is quite tired (it was nearly 800pm) and both of her feet needed to be readjusted in her braces. She is also one year younger than her classmates. The differences between Elena and her classmates are obvious. But, for the first time--SO ARE THE SIMILARITIES.

Words cannot express how thankful we are for being included in the Bright Stars program. THANK YOU Geisha, Ruth, Sherry, Maureen, Cathy, Ariel, Ms. Higgins, Neil, the rest of the Stone Robinson Staff, E's reading buddies, the Jumpstart volunteers--and to her classmates, who treated Elena just like a normal kid.

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