The children at the Ranch are so awesome!
Some friends of the Ranch were visiting our Minot campus and we were giving them a tour. In the elementary school, our tour guide was one of our 6th graders, Andy*. Andy had been a resident in Cornelsen Cottage and was continuing to attend school as a day student. Andy has blonde hair, blue eyes and tends to talk quickly. It was obvious he had prepared for the tour and we were all impressed by his natural charm and solid handshake. He was virtually trembling with excitement about this important task!
His enthusiasm was contagious! As we walked through the school, he pointed out all the important “stuff” like the library, gym, chapel and water fountains, as well as the sensory and cool down rooms. He explained who the teachers were for each grade and how an individualized education plan is specific to each student. As we entered Mrs. Beach’s room he exclaimed, “At Christmas, she decorated everything like a gingerbread house, it was awesome!” And then he went into great detail to paint a picture of the wonderland she created for her students.
I felt tears spring up as with that same passion he shared insight into why he was at the Ranch and how he learned to manage his emotions and behaviors. It is not easy for anyone to share personal information, but he did so with open honesty. He candidly said he sometimes gets upset and told us about the zones of regulation and how they help him regulate. He also shared the successes he’s found, and with a blush, he let us know that he is now doing seventh grade homework, and he is only in the sixth grade.
“The teacher says I am pretty smart.”
I share this story with you because this young boy inspired me so much. At the Ranch, he learned he is accepted and loved no matter what. Just like Christ loves each of us. Andy’s growth emotionally and in school transformed him to be the best he could be. He is so ready to start junior high school next fall and I have a feeling he will do great things!
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support that allow us to help children like Andy.
Senior Development Officer
Learn more about Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch at DakotaRanch.org. You can also follow the Ranch on Facebook and Twitter.
*Name changed to protect confidentiality.
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