Weston Thrives at Providence Christian School
“Weston is a full citizen of first-grade,” remarked Marji Voetberg, All Belong teacher consultant, during a recent visit to Providence Christian School in Kalamazoo, MI.
Today, his place of belonging in the classroom fills Weston’s parents and teachers with gratitude to God as they watch Weston and his peers grow in faith, academics, and relationship with one another.
Their praise to God is magnified as two years ago, this dream of Christian education for Weston was uncertain. Though Providence Christian believed Weston belonged at the school, they were uncertain how to support his needs and create opportunities for him to share his gifts.
Backed by the support of All Belong donors and the commitment of the school community, Weston is in his second year at Providence Christian!
His first year at kindergarten last year was a great success: he would enthusiastically chat with anyone despite his speech delays, he loved learning more about his faith, and developed a knack for acting! (Read more about Weston’s first year here). His journey into first grade is just as successful. He joyfully shares all kinds of stories with his classmates, and always brings a positive attitude and servant’s heart to the classroom.
Melissa DeJong, Providence Christian educational support services teacher, remarked about the importance of partnership with All Belong to support Weston’s citizenship.
“As an advisor, Marji helped the teachers and support staff think through appropriate goals for Weston and provided us with best practice strategies to reach these goals.” Marji also helped the school recognize the milestones Weston achieved and encouraged the staff to celebrate his many successes. One of these successes has been his growth in reading. Filled with curiosity, Weston loves books and applies the tools he is learning in school to sound out words and read on his own.
His mom, Bridget DeVisser, remarked, “He will tell me when reading a story, ‘Mom I need to ‘stretch’ this word to read it. That’s an important tool!”
Weston enhances Providence Christian with a unique joy, filling the school with his infectious smile, positive nature, and love for God’s creation—especially bugs. Recognizing the gifts that Weston brings to the school, his peers value his opinion, laugh at his jokes, and actively involve him in group activities. “Recently at recess, a fifth grader noticed a praying mantis (one of Weston’s favorite insects) on the playground. She immediately called Weston over to show him,” shared Bridget. Because of the support of donors like you, Weston is thriving and embracing his full citizenship as a Providence Christian student and valued member of the body of Christ.
Passionate about inclusive education? Make a contribution to All Belong to faithfully build belonging for persons of all abilities.
Kelly Grant is the communications specialist at All Belong.