Darko Learning Academy Scholarship Fund
Team Member: Goldie Huttler
Darko Learning Academy Huttler Family Fund
Established as a זכות (merit) for a רפואה שלימה (complete recovery) for
יוסף שמואל בן מרים, Rabbi Yossi Huttler
Dear family and friends,
During the last several weeks, Yossi's condition has declined significantly. We have received numerous inquiries as to what can be done to help us and where we would like people to give charity in Yossi's merit.
Our son, Elimelech Gidon, has just started putting on Tefillin (Pylachteries) in preparation for his bar mitzvah. Allow us to share his story with you.
Elimelech is a gifted child. This is not just our biased parental opinion. We recently had him assesed by an educational evaluator. The report came as no surprise to us, really. At age 3, Elimelech picked up his older brother's Leapster, an educational electronic game that teaches math and grammer (such as identifying "parts of speech" such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs...), and proceeded to learn how to play and susequently win the game - before he could read or write. He certainly did not understand grammatical rules. He was also quite proficient at building Lego models whose complexity far exceeded his age range.
So we were rather surprised and dismayed when he entered great school and we learned that he was having difficulties both socially and academically. Day after day month after month he would come home from school angry and frustrated. He hated learning. He stayed by himself during recess. His self-esteem was nonexistent. And at one point he even told us he wasn't sure that he wanted to be Jewish when he grew up.
Then we found Darko Learning Academy. Darco is a Montessori based yeshiva day school, the first of its kind in Los Angeles. Over the last six months, the change in Elimelech has been miraculous! He gets up bright and early in the morning, is happy to go to school, enjoys learning Torah as well as secular subjects, and comes home (almost) every day with a smile on his face. He has friends, he has learned to "kibitz," and he has developed teamwork skills. He performs self-directed schoolwork, and eagerly looks forward to learning Talmud in the evening twice a week with his private tutor.
In it's two and half year existence Darko has, unsurprisingly, grown from 4 students to 45. But the parent body has recently been informed that the school is in jeopardy of having to close it's doors. Darko is now experiencing financial challenges that are typical of an organization that, out of necessity, grows very quickly. budgetary resources are having difficulty keeping up with their growth.