As our annual fundraising campaign, Colorado Gives Day, approaches its climax we wanted to give you a sense of the gratitude AVS families have expressed for the life-changing gifts they’ve received here. After reading the following parent testimonials, please consider giving what you can and spreading the word so that more families might enjoy transformations like these. Schedule your donation today at this link and help us reach our goal of raising $22,750 for our Tuition Assistance Fund.
I am thankful to AVS for giving our daughters a place to grow in different and unexpected ways.
For example, during our first year here my youngest child—who up to this point had been carefree and left details to everyone else—decided she wanted to set up a field trip to a local pool. The night before the trip, she asked us to drive her there so she could make sure the details were taken care of (which was surprising in itself). When we got to the rec center the staff said, “Don’t worry about it, your teacher will make sure it’s all set up.” My daughter said, “No, it’s my field trip and I need to make sure everything’s arranged.” Since she was only 9 the staff was surprised to hear this, and it gave her the opportunity to talk about her school. And her field trip went off without a hitch. This was our first real glimpse of how AVS was helping her grow up into a more responsible person, and we were thrilled.
Our older daughter had always been the super-responsible kid—almost too much so, and keeping her opinions to herself. Through being part of AVS she has learned to speak out more, and she no longer blindly follows others’ opinions. She thinks about a situation, questions its validity, and makes her own decision. She is now comfortable speaking her mind. She has used this new ability to become active in the day-to-day processes of the school, especially the judicial system. We feel this confidence will serve her well in life, both during and after her school years.
So deep and wide does my gratitude for AVS run, it’s difficult to know where to begin. With that in mind, perhaps it’s best to start…in the beginning.
I can barely fathom the courage, vision, and determination that drove the founders of AVS to create and maintain this opportunity that would, 11 years later, literally be life-changing (and perhaps life-saving) for us. We never would have discovered AVS without the guidance of educational consultant Jeffrey Freed, who urged me to give the school a chance and provided a bridge of courage and open-mindedness until…
…I had an opportunity to observe and interact with the “results,” the living embodiments of an AVS education—the alumni and long-time students. These young adults seem so involved, and so open about their experiences at AVS. Many alumni continue to support and enjoy the school community years after they’ve left. Repeatedly I’ve heard them publicly express their gratitude for this extraordinary school, some of them even moved to tears as they did so.
Thank you also to past and current parents who have inspired and supported me. We are making an unorthodox choice, many of us driven by damaging and limiting experiences within the conventional paradigm. Some have the insight before their children ever begin school that the system’s flawed, or that an environment of freedom and self-directed education will result in happier, more successful adults. I have felt much deeper connections to the parents at AVS than any of the other schools my son attended before.
Any expression of gratitude would be severely incomplete without thanking the staff. I hold them in the highest esteem and deeply appreciate their “labor of love,” their dedication to protecting the learning environment for the students, and the magnitude of the personal sacrifices they have made. I know they could be making substantially more money, and certainly have more job security, working elsewhere. I mean, come on! These folks have their jobs on the line every May as School Meeting votes on next year’s contracts. Talk about a performance review!
Last but certainly not least, many thanks to the students. You know full well that you’ve been given a unique opportunity to take responsibility in creating your lives, expressing your passions, and following your own paths to become effective adults in the greater community. And you are all assets to that greater community already: I know this is true because you have most certainly touched my life in a positive way.