Runkle School Special Education teacher, Meghan Walsh, sent an email to the BEF thanking us for the Collaborative Grant she and her colleagues received. Below is her email and story (shared with permission):

Dear Members of the Brookline Education Foundation,

I wanted to take the time, once again, to thank you for your extremely generous collaborative grant for the 2020-2021 school year. Because of you, I was able to receive training in the Orton-Gillingham approach. 
This past summer, I participated in the Comprehensive Orton-Gillingham training through IMSE- the Institute of Multi-Sensory Education, which improved my understanding of the O-G approach and how to best teach students with language based reading disabilities. 
This year, because of YOUR GENEROSITY, I have been able to reach struggling readers in a way that I never could before. 
One young child, in particular, with whom I have been working since September, has repeatedly expressed his hatred for reading. Since the fall, he has identified as a non-reader, stating that he will “never learn how to read dumb books” and sharing with me how “stupid” he is. Despite his negative self-talk and beliefs about himself as a learner and reader, he has persevered. He has worked diligently with me as we have utilized the O-G principles during our reading lessons.  Regardless of my best efforts to change his self-esteem, he has remained pessimistic about his future with reading and his role as a learner.
Today he had a break-through.
As we were reading a book together, he stopped suddenly and said, “Wait a minute! I think I can read! I know how to read now! I am a good reader! When did that happen? I can’t wait to tell my family!”
We both smiled widely at this boy’s sudden discovery. It was a moment of true celebration. (Yes, sweet boy, you DO know how to read!)
And so I tell you one more time…
Because of you- and your generosity- you have provided me with the tools to reach a child who otherwise may never have believed in himself. Because of you, this child now views himself as a reader. Because of you, my students and my school days are richer and more meaningful. 
I cannot thank you enough for your generous gift. You have truly made a difference in our lives at Runkle School. Thank you for the joy we all experienced today.
With deepest gratitude,
Meghan Walsh
K-2 Learning Center
Runkle
We are thrilled that Ms. Walsh and her student had such a banner day! This is certainly why we do what we do, and it’s always great to get concrete examples of why your donations matter. Thanks to you, our donors, and thanks to the amazing teachers, who help our students with breakthroughs large and small every day!