Mercy Education Resource Center
An estimated 15 to 20 percent of American children suffer from learning disabilities that can jeopardize their chances of leading productive, fulfilled adult lives if undiagnosed and untreated. Learning disabilities not only affect a child’s ability to reach his full potential, but also can cause lifelong emotional distress. Many young people have trouble interacting with their peers, becoming easy targets for teasing and bullying. And because self-worth is often closely tied to the opinions of peers, learning disabled children often have diminished confidence and self-esteem.
Children with learning disabilities typically work much harder than their peers, spending significantly more time completing the same school work. More time spent on homework means less time spent on extracurricular activities such as school sports, limiting a child’s experiences and hindering friendships. Those with poor grades may not be allowed to participate in sports.
Unaddressed learning challenges also can burden social and health-care systems. Consider the statistics:
- 43 percent of learning disabled people are living at or below the poverty level, while 48 percent of those with learning disabilities are unemployed. 25 to 40 percent of those on government assistance programs may have learning disabilities. (Bridges to Practice Guidebook, a project of the National Institute for Literacy)
- Up to 60 percent of adolescents in treatment for substance abuse have learning disabilities. (Hazelton Foundation)
- 35 percent of learning-disabled students drop out of high school – twice the rate of their non-disabled peers. This does not include students not identified as learning disabled who drop out. 50 percent of females with learning disabilities will be mothers (many of them single) within three to five years of leaving high school. (National Longitudinal Transition Study/Wagner)
Testing, counseling and tutoring are critical to helping children and adults with learning challenges succeed. Mercy Education Resource Center—a ministry established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1992—fills a vital education gap in the Sacramento region by providing specialized tutoring, counseling and other services to those who are emotionally distressed and educationally disadvantaged from learning disabilities, familial or societal circumstances, or other factors that place them at risk in learning environments. The center’s assessment services identify learning disabilities and guide learning based on each student’s strengths. To help struggling adults and children find their best path, counseling is often paired with tutoring or prescriptive instruction.
How you can help
Services at most tutoring centers often are financially out of reach for many families. Educational assessments for just one child can cost thousands. Many learning disabilities are unaddressed simply because families cannot afford assistance.
Mercy Education Resource Center provides low-cost services to the community to ensure that all people have access to the help they need to overcome learning disabilities. The center largely serves the working poor — typically low-income families who cannot afford services or support above and beyond their basic financial commitments such as mortgages, rent, tuition and utilities.
Philanthropic support enables the center to offer affordable programs and services. Help empower children and adults through education with a charitable gift. Your support is especially critical during this time of steep budget cuts to our school systems. Current needs include:
Kids First scholarships
Established by a longtime Mercy Foundation donor, these scholarships fund full assessments, tutoring, counseling and other services to children with qualifying family income.
Family financial support
Services at most tutoring centers often are financially out of the reach for many families. Charitable support enables the center to offer reduced fees for all services, ensuring that no child or family is denied services because of financial difficulties.
Counseling services at diocesan schools
Steep budget cuts at regional diocesan schools have reduced and in some cases eliminated vital counseling for students in need. Charitable support will fund an onsite Mercy Education counselor one day per week, providing individual and family therapy as well as targeted support such as anti-bullying counseling.
Counseling, tutoring and assessments at the center are priced far below market, as compared to wider-known centers such as Sylvan. Yet few in the community are aware of Mercy Education Resource Center. Increased awareness will boost income needed to sustain programs. Charitable support will fund the launch of a comprehensive marketing program that will increase awareness about the center and reach people in the community who will benefit from education services.
Click here to download this case statement.
To learn more about Mercy Education Resource Center and Mercy Foundation,
contact Kevin Duggan, president and CEO, Mercy Foundation, at (916) 851-2703 or e-mail Kevin.Duggan@dignityhealth.org.
One-hundred percent of all donations to Mercy Education Resource Center through Mercy Foundation supports the center; no overhead or administrative fees are assessed.