On May 25, the 37th Annual Tea Party Distance Classic 5K and 10-Mile Run for Radcliffe will take place in historic Chestertown, Maryland.
The race is the largest source of funding for Radcliffe Creek School, the school that has helped change Charlie's life!
As you know, Charlie has a significant speech delay. When Charlie was about 18 months old, we started to notice that there was something different about his speech - specifically that he had one sound, and that was it.
When other two year-olds around us started talking about their, “trucks” and “dinos,” and calling for their, “mammas,” we heard that one sound. When my friends began to brag about their kids saying their ABCs, my heart would hurt. A few months before his third birthday, we were in a store when he innocently said, “Hi” to the store clerk who looked at me with pity as my eyes welled up with tears, not sure why I was crying about a toddler's innocent "Hi." It was the very first time I had ever heard him say a word, a real word, unprompted.
Last summer, we found Radcliffe Creek School in Chestertown, Maryland. The school is a special place for students with learning differences, and to our benefit also had a preschool! It has almost been a year since we made our first trip here and Charlie now not only has words, he has sentences.
He is learning language through his peers (now his friends) and also through his sessions with one of the School’s speech therapist. His teacher sent me a picture one day of him with chocolate pudding all around his mouth. “What’s that around your mouth?” I asked him that night. “Moustache!” he said, clear as day. I know it’s hard to believe that a word like, “Moustache,” can bring you to tears, but when you worry that your child will never talk, it does.
He still has a long way to go and if you compared him to the average four year-old, you would know that his speech is different. But that is what is great about Radcliffe Creek. He is not compared. He is learning that it’s OK when people are different, and actually, it’s better.
Radcliffe Creek is an amazing school. (Clara is also now a two-day-a-week student in the infant room).
You walk into one of the classrooms here and you "get" why educating kids this way works - for any student. Whether these students have a learning difference such as dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, or a speech and language disorder, or would just simply benefit from an individualized environment, a Radcliffe education works.
In order to make our program accessible to more students, we offer financial assistance to many qualifying families. We have parents who work second (or third) jobs, have taken loans, second mortgages, and have borrowed from family members to make a Radcliffe education a possibility for their children. Simply put: the children who are at Radcliffe Creek School need to be here; and without financial assistance, for many, that isn’t a possibility.
Thanks for supporting this wonderful school and Team Moustache!