Aanav is just one of the many new faces who started at Little City’s ChildBridge Center for Education this year.

As the Center for Education continues to evolve to meet the needs of school districts and families, an emphasis has been placed on reaching more elementary-aged students. At 11, Aanav is one of the youngest students in the school along with new friends like Noah, Patience and others who make up Little City’s new elementary classroom.

Reaching students with developmental and intellectual disabilities at a young age gives them a greater chance of reaching a higher potential in the future.

“His potential is unlimited,” said Phil Siegel, principal of the ChildBridge Center. “He is so bright and energetic and he has a way of just connecting with people.”

Despite being one of the youngest students in the school, Aanav has already taken on a leadership role in his first few months at Little City. Bre Reveley, a school social worker, said Aanav tries to help the teachers anyway he can and reminds other students to listen and be nice to staff during the day.

Judy Kasner, who specializes in teaching elementary-aged students at ChildBridge, said Aanav is one of the brightest students she has worked with and has been eager to learn from the start. During a recent session, Aanav was reading and matching pictures with words, utilizing a task chart and following the schedule of the day without issue.

“He’s such a smart kid and it’s amazing to see where he is at already,” Judy said. “We are just working on staying on schedule and staying focused on what we have to do each day.”

Despite his quick success at the ChildBridge Center, Phil said Aanav’s strong verbal skills and academic level cannot cause complacency in the work that needs to be done. The elementary age is the most important time to teach children with developmental disabilities as many academic skills as possible so the post-secondary years can focus on the life skills and vocational skills needed to transition to adult programming.

“He comes in with a smile and he is happy every day. He is enjoying himself and that is a key first step,” Phil said. “Judy and Aanav had chemistry from the very first day and we have to make the most of that and make sure he develops those social and emotional skills so he can succeed in less restrictive environments.”

Aanav and the rest of the new elementary students at the ChildBridge Center are receiving life-changing opportunities they could not get anywhere else because of your support.

Your generous donation today is not just a one-time gift for students like Aanav, but a gift that will help equip them with the skills they need to thrive for the rest of their lives.

“I love coming here and I love my teachers,” Aanav said. “I always have fun.”

“The story of Aanav is hopefulness,” Phil said. “He is going to be a success story. We know exactly what we have to work on. He’s going to be a major success.”

When you donate today, you help provide the integrated learning environment that students like Aanav need to thrive throughout their lifetimes.