“Why Give to Coralwood?”
"My name is Susan Stembel and I have been a Paraprofessional at Coralwood for 7 years, and I support the Coralwood Foundation.
My journey at Coralwood began ten years ago,when my three-year-old child could not speak. A friend recommended that I bring her to Coralwood to be evaluated. I had never heard of Coralwood, had never heard of apraxia, and did not know what an IEP was. All I knew was that I was terrified.
It did not take me very long to realize what an incredible place I had found. We arrived on the first day of school to a vibrant welcoming class with joyful teachers and funny, happy, and sweet three-year-olds. Even though there was so much I did not know, I knew that I had found a place where my daughter fit in. As time went on, I became more enthralled with Coralwood. I loved that she had music and motor and time in the library. I was impressed with the level of instruction throughout each day and became increasingly grateful for this opportunity. What was most important though, was what I saw happening to my daughter. She was becoming a child who was able to witness on a daily basis what it meant to be part of a truly diverse community. She (and I) experienced first hand the definition of dignity.
Two years later, I was fortunate enough to have my second child attend Coralwood. This time without the fear, but with tremendous gratitude. She too, was able to experience the all of the wonderful opportunities that Coralwood offered. Many of the friendships my children made at Coralwood continue to this day.
Now my daughters are both in middle school, and I am starting my eighth year at Coralwood. So much of who they have become is because of the formative experiences they had at Coralwood.
My family is so fortunate to be a part of the Coralwood community. The respect, and grace I see on a daily basis reinforces my commitment to offer my very best. I am grateful to the Foundation for supporting the teachers and allowing us to make a difference in the lives of the children we serve. As a parent, I know how much it means."
~ Susan Stembel, Current Coralwood paraprofessional and former parent