A Sunshine Moment is that sense of light a child feels when they realize they can read, they have resiliency, and they have worth. For over two decades Kids Ranch has sought to bring Sunshine Moments to struggling children by helping them overcome illiteracy, low self-esteem, and adverse childhood experiences.
Enjoy these Sunshine Moments, and then help us create more!
NOTE: To respect the privacy of these children, names and photos have been changed
“Because I can read! Now I can read!”
Jason, a slender, freckle-faced second-grader, couldn’t read. His self-esteem was so low he even said he sometimes wished he weren’t alive. After spending a year with Kids Ranch tutors and therapists, Jason showed a remarkable change in his beliefs about his value and his hope for a bright future. When asked how this happened, he joyfully exclaimed it was because he could read.
"I am a smart girl!"
Nine-year-old Sally struggled with undiagnosed learning disabilities. Our Kids Ranch Mental Wellness Coordinator, retired family therapist Teresa Parker, helped Sally through deeply negative opinions of herself while also securing a diagnosis and treatment plan for her. Last spring Sally came for her usual Kids Ranch tutoring session transformed. She gushed “I can’t believe the difference! Before, I felt always worried and scared because my teacher always had to ask me to pay attention, and now she doesn’t have to any more! In reading I can stay on track and I can follow everything! And I even believe that I am a smart girl!”
"My daughter is a reading machine!"
Nona was an aggressive, disruptive eight-year-old girl. She didn’t have any friends, she couldn’t read, and she was behind in school in every subject. Tragically she had suffered severe abuse at the hands of her father, now incarcerated. Her failure in school and her aggressive behaviors had been completely attributed to the trauma; furthermore, it was thought that her behavior and her failure to learn could not be significantly changed.
And then Nona became a Kids Ranch kid. Teresa helped Nona’s mother and grandmother connect with social agencies to enhance parenting skills. She gathered records and wrote recommendations that eventually lead to a proper diagnosis and treatment for Nona’s challenges. And, Nona was paired with a wonderful young adult tutor, a former Kids Ranch kid herself. How awesome is that! Now parent and teachers cannot believe the turnaround in Nona! She has a completely new attitude about herself, and her mother happily affirms, “My daughter is a reading machine.”
A Lifetime Change
No name changing here! Former Kids Ranch student Paul Hainz, his mother Shell Lee Hainz, Paul's tutor Janet Brice, and Kids Ranch Education Coordinator Mary Bowers share their Sunshine Moments.