MEET BRYSON

Bryson loves big and is a friend to everyone. Bryson is a peer-model in the Special Kids “EQUIP” program here at Special Kids. Equip peer-models are like any other child in a typical preschool program. “One thing that I love about Bryson and about what kids are able to develop as a part of the Equip program here is their love for their friends with disabilities,” shares lead recreational therapist, Tori.

“One word to describe Bryson is love. Bryson has the biggest heart I have ever seen in a 3-year-old. Growing up in a home that loves Jesus, and with his sister who has special needs and is a part of our nursing program, it has provided him the opportunity to love without prejudice or judgment. As adults, we tend to be scared of what we don’t know or understand and often pass on that fear to our kids. Bryson has the unique opportunity to be raised in a world where he has been exposed to children with all sorts of disabilities, needs, types of equipment, behaviors, ways of communicating, and so on. Bryson came to our peer-modeling program as a baby and has been growing and learning alongside children with medical fragilities that look “different” to the outside world. Bryson isn’t afraid of the “different”. He will walk right up to any kid and give them a huge grin and a hug. He knows how to make every child feel loved and included. He isn’t afraid when children in our nursing program have outbursts, but rather, he tries to calm them and tell them, “It’s okay”. Our prayer for Bryson is to continue to grow in this love even after he goes to school. Jesus was the perfect example of showing us how deeply God loves those who are “different” and who may be sick or in need. We pray Bryson, and every child enrolled as a peer-model in the Equip program, models this exact love Jesus had for others.”

Bryson’s mom Nakesha says, “I am thankful my family is a part of Special Kids. I thank God for the Christian foundation and the things the teachers teach. Bryson will sit on my bed and say, ‘let’s pray for my teacher’s mom!’ and he’ll name every single teacher and pray for them; I thank God for that. Special Kids is not just a safe place for kids but it’s also a safe place for parents. There are times I’ve walked in and teachers will just pray for you. It’s not easy being the parent of a special needs child and a 3-year old as well and we can struggle…I can pour my heart out and they will pour into me and speak God’s word. There’s nowhere else like Special Kids. I am so grateful.”

The Equip program at Special Kids seeks to equip children, regardless of disability, with the skills and confidence they need to become like Jesus and share His love with the world. The purpose of this program is to aid in the development and spiritual growth of medically fragile children in our nursing program. Nursing children, who are developmentally and cognitively appropriate for a typical classroom setting, are placed in an age appropriate classroom along with peer models. This model creates an inclusive environment that evokes service, kindness, independence, and encouragement as children are given the opportunity to learn how to love one another without prejudice or judgment.  Peer models such as Bryson go through an application and screening process to determine if Equip is an appropriate program for the child. To learn more about Equip, visit specialkidstn.com/equip   

Would you join the Double Challenge and Double the Hope for Bryson?  Your investment will make a direct impact on Bryson’s life, as well as the lives of all the children being served at Special Kids.

For this year’s Double Challenge, Special Kids wants to connect investors on a deeper level in order to achieve Special Kids’ mission. Special Kids wants to encourage YOU to create your own challenge! Would you please consider making your own commitment to Bryson and Special Kids and then ask friends, family, and colleagues to give the same amount? If you are unsure who to challenge, do not be concerned. A group of generous anonymous investors have promised to match the first $31,000 given. Special Kids current caseload of 780 children is more than has ever been served, which is why Special Kids has set a goal of $286,000 to be raised through the Double Challenge this year.

To join the Double Challenge, donations can be made online at specialkidstn.com or by mail to Special Kids, 2208 E. Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN, 37130. If you have questions about the Double Challenge contact Noel Deal at ndeal@specialkidstn.com or 615.893.4892.