“At a minimum, Nevaeh is two years behind in reading. We’re working really hard on the alphabet and sounding out each letter.”
“That’s the first meeting we had with our daughter’s second grade teacher,” said Caroline Hart, Crossnore’s Chief External Relations Officer and Deputy Director. “She was seven years old and struggling with the alphabet. This was our first foster care placement, and we were in over our heads.”
Caroline continues the story…
Our birth son had sailed through elementary school. He was motivated, smart, popular, and kind. She had been neglected, abused, and exposed to more drugs and domestic violence than you want to imagine. But she had a toothless smile that would light up the room. Oddly enough, she loved school, and never hesitated to raise her hand in class to answer a question. She played soccer that year, and at the end of the season said, “I hate this game because the team is slow, and they don’t care if they lose.” We knew early on that she was a fighter—an independent seven year old with a gut full of grit and a resilient soul.
Our Daughter is Thriving Today
Today, she’s 13 years old, a rising seventh grader and rides horses. Actually, she wants to barrel race, so the faster and more aggressive the horse, the bigger her smile. Big beautiful white teeth replaced empty crevasses and Bs have replaced Ds on her report card. She’s witty, popular, and has the teenager eye roll down to a science. Today, she’s our daughter, and I love being her mom. As long as I am breathing, she won’t be one of these foster care statistics:
- Only 50% of children in foster care complete high school at age 18.
- 20% of children in foster care attend college, with less than 5% earning a degree.
- Foster youth have an average reading level of 7th grade.
- 46% of youth who have aged out of care have no income at all or less than $6,000 per year by age 26.
These statistics, coupled with what I know as a result of my own personal experience, highlight the educational disparities between youth in foster care and their peers. Our daughter lived at Crossnore Communities for Children and attended Marjorie Williams Academy, Crossnore’s public charter school on the Avery County campus. At Crossnore she received the resources and support she needed. This support helped her begin healing mentally from the events that controlled the first few years of her life. The stable living and educational environments with highly trained staff supported her social development and a special therapist helped her find her voice. Today, she is thriving!
You Can Help Kids like Our Daughter
Thank you for investing in Crossnore and children like our daughter. Friends like you help provide kids like her with the necessary resources and support to ensure that she has access to the same opportunities as her peers. Private support makes up more than 40% of Crossnore’s annual operating budget. Your gift matters and is put to work immediately supporting vulnerable children. Please make a gift today. You may give securely online at www.crossnore.org/donate-now/.