Monday, April 15, 2013

Way to Go SA!

This past school year has been a special one for our daughter Sara Ashley, who we lovingly call "SA". Last fall she was given the opportunity to write an essay telling about why her school was the best school for her. This was part of a contest sponsored by the Center for an Educated Georgia, an organization promoting school choice.

Sara Ashley wrote the essay last May. She dictated the words to me and I typed it up and submitted it. I honestly thought little about it until July 1st (the deadline of announcing the winner) came and went. "Oh well," I thought. "Guess she didn't win." But just as our hopes were dashed, we received a phone call on July 9th with the good news. She was the state winner for her age group! Wow! What an honor for Sara Ashley and what an honor for her school, The Bedford School, where Sara Ashley attends.

As I have said before, this school is one of the biggest blessings in our lives. And as you will read below, she feels the same way. The administration, the teachers and the student body have definitely been some of those unexpected gifts that we never counted on finding through this experience. I can truly say that we are all better people for what we are encountering there. They have nurtured and instructed Sara Ashley in ways that are allowing her to reach her full potential and we are so very grateful.

I thought you all might enjoy reading Sara Ashley's winning essay so I have posted it below. I'm a proud mama! :)You can also count on reading more about Sara Ashley and our family's story in the upcoming book, "Unexpected Gifts, God's Blessings for and through Children Facing Life Challenges."

Blessings for a great week!!

Why My School is the Best Choice for Me
By: Sara Ashley Estes, Fifth Grader at The Bedford School, Fairburn, GA

My school is the best school for me because it helps me learn my best. I have adhd and dyslexia. I was diagnosed when I was in kindergarten and I began attending my school, The Bedford School, the summer after kindergarten at their camp called Squirrel Hollow.

The first time I went to Squirrel Hollow I was very nervous. I had trouble learning at my other school because I didn’t understand the instructions. When I got to Squirrel Hollow and met my teachers they made me feel comfortable and they taught me in different ways so that I could understand.

I started First Grade at The Bedford School with three other students in my class. If I did not understand something my teachers would explain it in many different ways until I got it. For example, if I didn’t understand a math problem they would tell me, just use your fingers or the number line in the classroom. They would sit next to me and help me count. And when I got it, I smiled and so did the teacher. I went from being able to count to only 10 to 100 within two weeks!!

In reading, I started out knowing less than ten words and could only write one sentence which was, “I like to play!” Now I write B5S (Basic five sentences) and 328 (3 subjects, 2 sentences for each subject, 8 sentences in all) paragraphs and read chapter books. I have read over 3 chapter books this school year. While I still struggle to read, I am in a smaller reading class so that the teacher can work closer with me on my reading skills. I am on grade level with my reading! I am so proud of how far I have gotten!
We also use the computer to help us with our learning. When we finish our assignment we are allowed to play a computer game as a reward. This game also helps us with our learning. Or we can watch Brain Pop which is a video that will help you learn about different subjects. These are fun activities that help me remember my lessons like multiplication, pronouns and Pi.

I am now going into the Fifth Grade at The Bedford School and I am all the way up to Geometry in Math. I have gone through an amazing life at my school. My school makes me feel at home. All the kids are included in games and in group activities. This year I participated in Intramural Basketball where we won a trophy in a tournament against other schools. It is on display at our school. I feel proud when I see it! I was also in the school play, “Les Miserable” and my picture was in the newspaper. I made a 3.6 grade point average for the year and received a Citizenship Award.

The Bedford School is the best school I could ever ask for!             


  1. Congratulations to your beautiful girl!! I'm so proud of Sara Ashley! What a blessing The Bedford School is. Thank the good Lord you found a wonderful school for your amazing daughter! *Heart Smile* R.Harvey