This testimonial was originally published in the Camp Spring Creek newsletter. To view or download any newsletters for free, click here. My name is Maeve, and I am a Kindergarten teacher in Raleigh, NC. I was able to attend a training class in the Orton-Gillingham method of teaching reading. Susie van der Vorst, director of Camp Spring Creek, ran the training at the Outreach Center in Spruce Pine. During thsi training, Susie brought a young boy to our class to be a practice student. His name was Caleb. Caleb touched my heart from the moment he entered our classroom. He had a wonderful smile, and you could tell that he was full of fun.
As Susie began to work with Caleb, it became apparent that he really struggled with written language. Decoding words was a real challenge for him. It was hard to watch this young boy struggle, but he never gave up. He kept trying even when the work was very difficult. My heart went out to him as I thought about students in my own classroom who struggle in the same way. Watching Caleb made me more determined than ever to help children who have this special need.
After the lesson, Susie walked Caleb out to the car. When she returned, she told me how upset his mom was that he would not be attending Camp Spring Creek. She knew it would really help Caleb, but they just did not have the money to fund his time there. I immediately knew that I could help. I was so grateful to Caleb for his willingness to come help us with our training, and I had found a way to show my appreciation. I thought of the friends and family members back home who I knew would be touched by Caleb's story. I told Susie that I wanted to help Caleb, and as soon as I got home I created Caleb's Fund as a means to raise the money Caleb needed so badly to attend camp.
As I had expected, the wonderful people I know were very touched by his story, and within about 8 weeks we had raised all the money for Caleb's tuition.
Unfortunately, I was not able to make the trip to Camp Spring Creek that summer, so I did not see Caleb there. However, Susie kept me informed of his progress over the summer. I know that the time Caleb spent at Camp Spring Creek greatly impacted his learning, and I hope that we can continue to send children to the camp through our future fund raising efforts. The happy ending is that Caleb was tested at his school once he returned and they noted that his reading levels progressed by three levels!