Thanks to the generosity of the Chicago Jewish community, supporters of REACH raised an unprecedented amount of money in only 30 hours on a Charidy campaign. During an economic recession and the COVID-19 epidemic, when our communities are unable to gather for the previously scheduled events and celebrations, we at the ATT are humbled and grateful for the generosity of the community that we serve.
REACH is Chicago’s coordinated effort to build Jewish day schools’ capacity to support students with a wide range of needs in an inclusive way. Our vision is to ensure that all Jewish students can attend the Jewish day school of their choice.
Over the past few months of remote learning, REACH has proved even more crucial for students benefiting from REACH support, ensuring these students continue learning during this challenging time.
Thank you to the families who laid the foundation for the REACH program to grow and have such an impact on our day school community:
- Oscar A. & Bernice Novick
- Crain Maling foundation
- The Walder foundation
- Rabbi Morris and Delicia Esformes
- Mr. Eric and Gayle Rothner
- Robert and Debra Hartman
- Robinson Family Foundation
- Along with the parent body that spearheaded the growth of REACH led by the Broner and Sheinfeld families.
We are grateful for their belief that we can #REACH4more for all of our day school students. Without their support, we would not have had the confidence to run this first-ever online fundraiser for the ATT in the middle of this challenging fundraising climate.
One of the most exciting parts of running this online campaign was hearing the stories that came in from our teachers, parents and partner schools.
Following are a few of the stories we heard during our fundraiser. These are only some of the stories of how REACH help students succeed in school every single year.
“REACH performs miracles! Students who would otherwise be totally lost in the classroom and not gain much from regular instruction are given the tools to enable them to achieve. REACH empowers students, building them up and scaffolding them to succeed.” ^JDBY teacher
“The REACH teachers have been wonderful during COVID.” ^ACHDS parent Ilissa Shenker
“Vanessa Cantz [REACH teacher] is incredible. She goes above and beyond. She adapts her lessons to fit each child and have each child thrive in the classroom. She uses different techniques that engage the children and bring out academic success and potential.” ^YTT parent
“They support the teachers and cooperate with everyone to bring out the potential in the child. They invest in the children and partner with parents and act as a liaison as between teachers and parents. This has been a huge ingredient for the success of my child. REACH filled a huge void. The caliber of staff and curriculum keep on improving along with REACH’s relationship with the schools.” ^JDBY parent
“When my daughter started REACH she was barely able to read. Her skills in Judaic and English subjects were very weak. Because of the belief of Shoshana Grossman [REACH teacher] and the REACH staff in JDBY, my child has grown every year. My daughter has been able to spend more time in the classroom while continuing to enjoy her relationship with REACH teachers.” ^JDBY parent of a 4th grader
“Our son attended public school from nursery through 3rd grade. Before entering 4th grade we made the decision to enroll him in the REACH program at ACHDS and have been thrilled with the results. With the extra attention and resources devoted to his development, our soon to be 7th grader (!) has continued to make progress in his general studies classes, has fully caught up in Hebrew kriyah, loves leading davening and learning with his rabbeim. Most importantly, he now fully feels part of the family.” ^ACHDS parents
“As a fourth-grade teacher and working with REACH on a daily basis, I’ve seen the tremendous benefits of their services both with my students receiving REACH support and how they have enriched my classroom. Taking the load off of the teacher, who has a responsibility to ensure each individual student reaches her academic capacity during the year, REACH ensures that their students’ needs are met, all within the framework of the classroom.” ^JDBY teacher Brooke Dordek
“REACH has played an important role in our son’s life since he was in 1st grade. He’s developed relationships with many of his teachers, and they’ve been an important source of support and help for us through the years. They’ve helped him gain many skills and build on his many strengths. We thank reach deeply for the effort, energy, and time they’ve devoted to our son and the many other students that they serve. We’re so very grateful! ^ YTT parents Rabbi Josh and Laura Marder
“Our son has been a part of REACH for several years now. REACH has the most amazing educators. They are attentive and supportive, and it is so crucial to have a liaison at the school when the need arises. They all go above and beyond the call is duty. It is a service that fills an irreplaceable need in the schools.”
YTT parents Micha and Amy Rose
“My daughter is now happy to attend school.” ^ACHDS parent Jodi Miller
“The help of the REACH teachers during COVID- 19 has been fantastic. My daughter made progress even during the crisis. This is what REACH is about, not just doing but going above and beyond the call of duty.” ^ACHDS parent Zehava Allen
“We have been part of REACH from its inception. The REACH teachers don’t only teach classroom skills or academic skills they teach lifelong skills. The teachers are animated, and so open and honest with my son that it creates a better bond. Because of that, he tries harder so that his REACH teachers get nachas from him.” ^Elie and Shifra Schreiber
“It is with tears in my eyes that I look back at my son’s growth at YTT over the past five years. Mrs. Cantz [REACH teacher] and Rabbi Chapman [REACH teacher] have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that he keeps up with his peers, academically and socially, while helping him acquire the skills he needs for reading and writing in both Hebrew and English.
REACH is fortunate to have such wonderful employees, and we are fortunate to have the REACH team behind our son.” ^YTT parent
“We love REACH. They do so much for my child. During Covid-19 they were fabulous with Zoom. They really love our daughter.” ^ACHDS parent Naomi Lopin
“Without REACH, I would not have been able to do homeschooling. They modified the material to fit my child’s needs. They made special worksheets for her. Shoshana Perlmutter [REACH teacher] calls every day to work with her. This was fantastic. Mrs. Jeramias [REACH teacher] did a reward program and sent out prizes.“ ^JDBY parent, E.K.
There is so much uncertainty in the world right now and in education. But as we enter our tenth year of serving the Chicago Jewish day school community, one thing is clear. REACH has the drive and dedication to continue doing the important work of ensuring that every Jewish child has the opportunity and tools they need to succeed in the day school of their choice. When one child in our community is empowered, our whole community is lifted up.
Learn more about REACH here.