Want To Make Some Kids (and Adults, too) Really Happy?

Class Picture 09-12 - Cropped - 620 x395

Rebecca’s GOS Class Picture, 2012-13

Dear Friends and Family,

I know you are frequently asked for donations or to buy something for a fundraiser. We all know there are LOTS of really good causes. Because I know many of you already give to many community programs, it is likely you do not feel like giving even more to an unfamiliar or distant non-profit. However, I would like you to please just consider my request of you today. For some this request will seem small, while for others this is no small amount.

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Today (September 22) Green Oaks School is participating in North Texas Giving Day. Would you please consider making a donation of any amount to support this super school?

To donate, just go to: https://northtexasgivingday.org/ and enter “Green Oaks School” in the “Find an Organization” box. No donation is too small, and every donation helps support a wonderful group of people.

In addition to donating, will you please forward this to your friends and/or post on your Facebook page? 

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Please let me tell you why this school is so dear to our family’s hearts:

Green Oaks School and Green Oaks Adult Learning are very specialized, unique programs for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

Those of you who know us are already aware of what a ray of sunshine Rebecca has been in our lives.

Fifteen years ago, when Paul and I were still trying to wrap our heads around our “new normal”, one of the first things that we worried about (after her health, of course) was whether or not she would ever be able to learn. We also wondered if she would have friends as she got older.

At the New School - 09.18.2013

At the New School – September, 2013

Fortunately for us, not one, but TWO schools had just opened a couple of years earlier which addressed the needs of the Down syndrome community – one of them was equipped to handle children between the ages of 18 months and 6 years, and the other one was Green Oaks School, which was set up to handle school-age kids and adults.

When Rebecca was 3 months old, Green Oaks School held the area’s first Buddy Walk. Desperate to find out what was “in store” for us, we showed up to walk around the parking lot in front of the tiny portable building which was home to 6 students with Down syndrome.

When I saw three young students from the school sitting around, talking and giggling with each other, I knew that Rebecca was going to be all right.

And I also knew that we would move Heaven and Earth to be sure that this wonderful program would still be around when she was finally old enough to attend school. Paul and I both knew that we had found the right place for Rebecca.

Green Oaks School has now been in operation for 17 years, and they have gone from those first 6 students to over 65 students enrolled, ranging in age from 6 to 40+. Rebecca has been attending GOS for the past 7 years, and with the addition of the Adult Learning (GOAL) component of the school, we don’t have to worry about “What next?” when she turns 18.

Rebecca's Dolls Go To School 2 - 2012-12-15

Rebecca likes school so much, she has her dolls “play” school at home…..

Rebecca LOVES her school, and she loves being able to see all of her friends every day.  She has learned so much, and is just thriving at GOS.  She is especially excited about their school building – the classrooms are nice and roomy, and they have a library, a big cafeteria/auditorium, and a large playground where she can have fun with all of the other kids at the school.

We don’t normally ask our friends to donate to our kids’ school programs, but we ALWAYS make an exception for Green Oaks School – they have been such an important part of our family’s life, and we want to be sure that Rebecca and other children and adults with Down syndrome in our area continue to have a place where everyone they meet is “just like me!”

Skittles Award 1 - 05.25.12

All of the kids get an individual award from their teacher at the end of the school year

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From Leigh Weedman, principal of Green Oaks School:

Green Oaks School is a Christian educational program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. This school is changing lives and is an answer to prayers for many families. In addition to academics, Green Oaks School addresses social, independent living and vocational skills at the level of each individual student.

Please watch this 60 second video to get a small glimpse of the students and school.                             

This Thursday, September 22, Green Oaks School is participating in North Texas Giving Day. Would you please consider making a donation of any amount to support this super school? To donate, just search “Green Oaks School” at northtexasgivingday.org

You may wonder why you would donate money to Green Oaks School if your child does not attend the school. Shouldn’t the Green Oaks families pay for this specialized education on their own? Simply put…the school does not receive public funding from local, state or federal sources to support operating expenses. While families do pay tuition, the tuition does not cover the operating expenses for such a specialized school. 

In addition, many families do not have the funds to access this vitally important program.

While public education is available for our students who are school age, many needs go unmet in that environment. Many families spend years fighting for the education their child needs, but find few positive results and turn to other options like Green Oaks School.

Green Oaks School also operates Green Oaks Adult Learning (GOAL), a continuing education program for adults with intellectual disabilities. The vast majority of adults with intellectual disabilities spend a significant amount of time at home. Most are either completely unemployed or significantly underemployed. Through programming in GOAL, adults are provided opportunities to continue working on skills in all areas of their lives.

Thank you so much for your consideration!

Leigh Weedman, Green Oaks School Principal

Beads 5

At home, Rebecca uses what she learns at school – here, she has sorted all of her beads into colors

About Teresa in Fort Worth, TX

A short, fat, middle-aged, happily-married, mother of 4 daughters. A former high school valedictorian (way back in the Stone Age), a Civil Engineering major in college, a middle-of-the-road Conservative, and a moderate Methodist. I know just enough to get myself in trouble....
This entry was posted in Down syndrome, I Love America, Inspirational, Just Because and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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