Donation Spotlight: Community Access and Empowerment’s Inspiring Partnership with LBE Design and Broadway Terrace Nursery
Nov 27, 2023
As the Giving Tuesday spirit sweeps across the nation, we want to shine a spotlight on an extraordinary partnership that embodies the true essence of giving back to an underserved community. Community Access and Empowerment, in collaboration with LBE Design and Broadway Terrace Nursery, is making a remarkable difference in the lives of a remarkable group of students.
Meet Carly: A Teacher on a Mission
For the past 15 years, Carly has dedicated her life to teaching deaf students in Solano County. Her classroom is no ordinary one; it's a self-contained class of high school students, and every one of them has a unique story. These students come from diverse backgrounds, hailing from various countries and upbringings. Despite their differences, they share a common challenge: language deprivation.
In their home countries, these students had limited or no access to formal sign language. The consequences of this are profound, affecting their cognitive abilities and leaving them with significant gaps in their education. They've spent their entire lives misunderstood and often mislabeled, sometimes even being mistaken for individuals with autism or intellectual disabilities. Carly's mission is to change that.
Language Deprivation and Resilience
Carly’s students face the challenge of audism, a pervasive belief that prioritizes spoken language over other forms of communication, potentially limiting her students' opportunities. Her primary focus is on developing a foundational language for her students, with American Sign Language (ASL) serving as a vital lifeline that enables them to connect with the world.
In addition to teaching subjects like Biology and English, Carly takes a different approach that involves taking her students out into the world. With her own resources, she has organized trips to farmers' markets, the beach, bowling alleys, and even sushi restaurants. These experiences are not just for fun; they're invaluable opportunities to enhance their language skills beyond the classroom.
This well-rounded approach ensures her students are not only linguistically empowered but also academically prepared for life beyond high school. Her ultimate goal is to help her students earn high school diplomas, a crucial milestone that opens doors to employment and further education.
The Power of Plants
The connection between these students and plants is a profound one. Water and sunlight, the sources of life for plants, parallel the students' own journey of growth and development. Our Plant-a-Seed project is about providing access and empowering individuals to embrace their true abilities.
This fall, LBE Design and Broadway Terrace Nursery teamed up to provide Round Two Planters to Carly’s students for a propagation project. Carly and her students propagated baby succulents, which they transplanted into the ceramics planters and will now tend to individually. This collaboration has a profound impact on Carly's students, who are eager to get their hands dirty. In this process, science becomes a form of magic, and it's an incredible way to connect with the world.
The Path Forward
Carly, her husband, and their business partner are taking their mission even further by creating Community Access and Empowerment, a nonprofit which aims to bridge the gap after highschool and further train these students to live and work in the world as independent adults.
Join us in celebrating Giving Tuesday by supporting those who are making a real difference in the world. You can contribute to their classroom wishlist here.