As a parent of a child with special needs, we struggled with our desire to provide a Catholic education for our daughter while meeting the challenges of her very special academic and social needs. Our prayers were answered when we met with the Saint Anthony School Programs five years ago.
Abby is now a fourth grader in the Saint Anthony School Programs at Saint Mary’s. She began the program as a kindergartner. She is fortunate enough to be included in the typical fourth grade classroom while having the benefit of the dedicated staff provided by the program to assist her with her learning and special needs. She also has the benefit of a resource room. “Mrs. Brunner’s Room” is a very special place. Abby has found comfort and a connection with the amazing staff that make this all possible. At Saint Anthony’s, she’s not only provided with the tools and resources needed to succeed academically, but the program is helping Abby grow spiritually as well.
Throughout Abby’s years at St. Mary’s she has experienced so many wonderful moments. She made the sacrament of Reconciliation and Communion during her second grade year. She was so proud to be able to experience this special time with her peers. She was part of the Girl Scouts her third grade year, where she socially grew side by side with other peers on earning badges. This year Abby was part of the basketball team. She loved everything about it. These experiences have matured and helped Abby grow. The students of St. Mary’s have been so encouraging to her, helping her try new things and accepting her challenges. They alter their activity to meet her needs. It is amazing to watch both sides come together.
Abby loves the day that all Saint Anthony School Programs come together at Saint Simon and Jude to play in The Inclusive Games. This is a wonderful day where the kids get to bring a buddy from school to experience this amazing event, In which they play games, have a picnic lunch and just socialize with friends. This is probably her favorite day of the year!
Outside of school Abby is part of The Miracle League of Southwestern PA. She loves being part of a baseball team. She has been playing on the team for 5 years. It is an amazing experience that has really helped her connect with other kids in our community. She also takes an exercise class called Get Movin. She loves to dance and practice the moves that she learns in class. She looks forward to going every week.
Abby is growing and maturing into wonderful young girl with such a big personality. She loves to be involved and help others. Saint Anthony has been blessed with so many generous donors, many that attend the Annual Dinner and Auction. Abby loves attending this event and seeing her friends and teachers. It is an evening of giving. She loves the opportunity to share that evening with friends and family.
We cannot begin to express our gratitude to all those who support the Saint Anthony School Programs, your generosity is greatly appreciated. We would also like to thank the Saint Anthony staff for your efforts and dedication. Our children are so very fortunate to have you teaching them everyday. Abby looks forward to a bright future with Saint Anthony by her side to achieve her goals.