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Educating in the Face of Challenge

Tags: Stories of Impact

kids on playgroud sewall.jpg

VJ Brown

Imagine a classroom where you’re encouraged to learn and explore the world without limits, no matter the circumstances. Now meet Ivan, a six-year old child who was diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome, a disorder that can cause developmental delays in young children. His adoptive parents were concerned with supporting his development and sought out ways to facilitate healthy growth for their new child.

Ivan’s family discovered Sewall Child Development Center, an organization that provides inclusive learning environments using the power of partnerships, diversity, and belonging to enrich the social and academic growth of children and families. In Ivan’s case, the process began with a team of child development specialist conducting in-home therapy visits with his family to help address their concerns about developmental delays. Later, Ivan began preschool in Sewall’s “Lion Cub’s” classroom, where teachers and volunteers partnered with Ivan’s family to develop a comprehensive plan to maximize the impact of his education.

At Sewall, Ivan is with other peers who also experience learning differences as well as peers who are typically developing. In addition to the support, planned interventions, and therapies from the Sewall staff, Ivan gets the opportunity to explore the world and embody being a child while continuing to learn and develop alongside his peers.

While Ivan’s story is special, it is not unique. Sewall serves nearly 700 children in the Denver area, including children like Ivan experiencing developmental delays, children in poverty, and those adjusting to life in a new culture. Children with identified needs at Sewall experience, on average, an 18-month delay in comparison to typically developing children of the same age. Sewall’s plan of structured interventions and support helps children close this gap, with around 85% of kindergarten-bound children meeting expectations and showing growth. El Pomar is proud to support Sewall as it continues to support children and families, no matter what challenges arise.