This year I had the pleasure of working with the Caroline Previdi Foundation. The foundation was formed in honor of Caroline who--as described by her mother--“loved all her little activities”. The foundation offers opportunities for children to become involved in extracurricular activities and is focused specifically on children in need who may not otherwise have these opportunities. In working with the foundation, I was able to see first-hand what a gift these experiences can be for children in need, and I saw the positive impact it had on one child in particular.
One of my students is a sweet, shy, 7th grade girl who lives in an apartment complex where her parents do not feel comfortable allowing her to spend time outside. She has spent most of her life indoors and has not had the health and social benefits that outdoor play and activity can provide. Although she is an incredible person, her lack of activity has led to low self esteem and a reluctance to become involved with her peers. When I received an email from the Caroline Previdi Foundation and learned that the foundation offered opportunities to low-income students, I knew that this kind and incredible girl would benefit greatly. I spoke to her about getting involved in an activity of her choice, and I was surprised when she told me she had always wanted to play softball. After speaking with her family and the Danbury PAL Youth Softball program, the Caroline Previdi Foundation provided her with all the necessary softball equipment. I watched her face light up when she held her own softball glove for the first time. I attended her first practice and watched her throw and catch her first ball with a teammate. I saw the look on her parents' face as they watched their girl practicing on her first team.
Now she comes to my room each day and tells me about practice and her games. I have seen her confidence grow. She smiles more. She looks healthier. As she moves to the 8th grade, I believe fully that this “little activity” has changed her life.
Thank you to the Caroline Previdi Foundation for allowing me to be part of something so much greater than it may seem on the surface. It is a true gift to me to be able to play a small part in honoring Caroline’s life in this way.
Christine E. Miller, MS
Social Skills Counselor
Broadview Middle School