With Mount Everest in the news these days, did you ever wonder what it takes to climb over 29,000 feet – about five miles high?  At first glance, we might think only daredevils attempt such a feat; a closer look and some research reveal the crucial qualities required to climb the highest mountain in the world.  Stamina, lots of practice, muscle build-up, more practice, learning from experts and then, climbing on your own.

At SHEMESH, we see this as a perfect metaphor for what it takes for children with learning disabilities to achieve academic, social and emotional success in school and in life.  We realize that every child with a learning disability faces an immense mountain every day.  Just as Mount Everest climbers, they start with practicing on smaller mountains, acquiring the basic skills that allow them to tackle their school and social lives even as they struggle with auditory or visual processing, reading difficulties such as dyslexia, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and fine motor skills, such as holding a pencil correctly and learning to write.

With the help of their expert special education teachers, all of whom have Master’s degrees and many years of experience, they build their intellectual muscle and begin to climb mountains.  It’s inspiring to see children grow in skills and confidence as they master increasingly difficult levels of proficiency and realize they are truly competent and capable.

This year’s SHEMESH Annual Meeting pays tribute to the perseverance, resilience and “grit” of our students and teachers.  Join us on Wednesday June 1 at the Edward A. Myerberg Center at 7:00 p.m. for an evening of celebrating accomplishments and focusing on future achievements.  Hear the story of one man’s struggle with a learning disability, as Dr. Chaim Ambinder describes his mountain climb to attain a Medical Degree.  Share the Nachas of parents, family members, teachers and principals as we present the Student Achievement Award to six young ladies in the Bais Yaakov/SHEMESH class known as “5G.”

Then visit our website, shemeshbaltimore.org/everesteveryday, and learn how YOU can join the Mount Everest climb and ensure the continuation of inspiring, high-quality success of SHEMESH services and programs.  You will have a new appreciation of what it takes to climb Everest Everyday!

SHEMESH is a program of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.