Before Camphill there was a public middle school with a bus that came at the ungodly hour of 6:30a.m. to take him clear across town to school. When he got there he had to entertain himself without being able to join the breakfast line because he wasn’t a free and reduced lunch eligible child. I got a lot of phone calls during that time.
At the end of his very long day that began at 5:00 a.m., Jeremiah was one of eighty seventh and eighth graders in a combined gym class with the teacher on a microphone. It was during this chaotic class that Jeremiah would have regular meltdowns. He even hit a teacher once, giving Jeremiah his first police record. Every month, he was expelled for meltdowns in gym class. I got a lot of phone calls during that time.
Now, at Beaver Run, Jeremiah gets up at the time he used to get into trouble, eats breakfast in community, and then ambles over to the schoolhouse by nine. He returns to his house for dinner from one to two, quiet/nap time from two to three, then a return to school for music, movement, and baseball. What a life! What a stark contrast! For the first time in his life, Jeremiah has true friends. And what takes my breath away is hearing his laugh and his giggle, which he never had before. You can see it in his eyes, you can hear it in his voice—Jeremiah has found his joy and peace at Camphill Special School.
Now, this single mom is tasked with joining Jeremiah at his new home, because I don’t want to miss another birthday, piano recital, or assembly presentation. On June 11th, Jeremiah and I moved into a new home in Pennsylvania, marking a new chapter in the fourteen-year-long saga of the Hill Family’s struggle for equity in education, in living, and in being in a world filled with joy and peace.
By Carol Hill, Alumni Parent
Reprinted from Reflections, Fall 2011