One parent makes a difference

Published 8:43 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A parent engaged in his or her child’s education equals a child who is equipped for success.

There is no better example of such a parent than Cynthia Gregory. Except in her case, her involvement will benefit not only her son, but also his entire classroom.

Gregory, whose son Aiden has autism, noticed how his iPad helped him improve his learning. So if it helped him, she reasoned, why wouldn’t it help the other children in his classroom at Kilby Shores Elementary School?

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Gregory decided to buy an iPad for the classroom to use. She tried one fundraising method that didn’t work. Undaunted, she turned a hobby — making hairbows — into a money-making venture.

In less than a week, she had made enough money to purchase the iPad.

Aiden’s teacher, Sharon Copeland, said the device has “really enhanced my classroom setting.” She uses the iPad to introduce, teach and affirm lessons, she said.

More and more, educators are realizing that different children have different learning styles, and varying lesson delivery will help each child find a connection. This is doubly true in a special-education classroom like Aiden’s, which makes Gregory’s contribution all the more worthwhile.

School divisions, state agencies, professional organizations and other groups involved in education have been trying for years to figure out the best way to help every child learn without leaving one behind. Sometimes, all it takes is one passionate parent to make that difference.

Gregory deserves a heaping helping of praise for her contribution to her son’s class and the students who will be placed in Copeland’s classroom in the future. Her sacrifice will enhance the early education of these students for years to come.