At age 5, she had never left her home neighborhood of Newtown. Wide-eyed and frightened, she stiffened and refused to speak when confronted with a new face or a new situation. Despite extra attention from her family, her teacher, and a group of dedicated reading volunteers, she wasn’t making enough progress towards literacy to graduate from kindergarten to first grade.
A trip to the Rainforest changed everything.
Through Selby Gardens’ partnership with Y-Reads!, this anxious, withdrawn child visited Selby Gardens and the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden. As she ventured onto the canopy walkway, those brown eyes widened again – not in fear this time, but in sheer delight.
Looking out over that astounding vista, seeing the beauty and wonder of nature laid out before her like a verdant buffet, she changed. She opened up. Her visit to Selby Gardens was an important step on the path to a more confident approach to her world.
As the Y-Reads! Coordinator noted, “Being able to go to Selby Gardens and walk up that bridge and look out from the tree canopy was undoubtedly mind-blowing for her…You should have seen her at Meet the Teacher Day: she was holding up her head and smiling. Even her mom said she had come out of her shell.”
WOW. What a difference a Rainforest makes! Not just to a frightened young girl but to everyone who experiences Selby Gardens’ special magic.
You can make a difference, too, with a year-end gift to Selby Gardens. And here’s some really great news:
Every dollar you contribute through December 31 will be matched dollar for dollar, thanks to a generous $50,000 challenge grant from the Amicus Foundation! Any gift – $1,000, $100, $50, $25 – whatever feels right to you – will be doubled, and your generosity will ensure that you and countless others continue to enjoy everything you love most about Selby Gardens.
We need your help to earn the whole $50,000 match – make your gift to Selby Gardens Annual Fund today!