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A Choice No Mother Should Have to Make

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Every day we make choices. What time to get up for work, or what to have for breakfast; many choices that impact our lives. Some are easy to make, but others are far more difficult. For example, what if you had to make the choice of paying for your child who needs medical assistance, or paying to find a tutor for your child who struggles in school?

Which would you choose?

Unfortunately, due to a lack of affordable resources, parents are finding themselves in that exact situation. Kori Brown was one such parent.

Growing up, Kori struggled a lot with reading. It started in 3rd and 4th grade for me... Kori said, I hated the subject because I had to be pulled from my regular class for resources to help with the subject... I had to go to Sylvan Learning Center, and they [my parents] paid so much just to get me to grade-level reading. I thought I was always going to dislike it until 7th grade. I had an amazing teacher at Somerset that helped me fall in love with reading. He took extra time with his students, and he had such a passion for reading and made the stories come alive. Now I read regularly and have at least 5,000 books in my collection on Kindle”.

After becoming a mother of two, Kori and her husband came face to face with a challenging obstacle: her son needed medical attention, which was going to cost a significant amount. So, when Cassidy, their daughter, started showing the same struggle with reading as Kori did when she was younger, Kori knew she had to do something, but she was at a loss.

Cassidy started to get frustrated and angry with herself as she struggled with reading and spelling in school. “The hardest part about school is when I know a word, and my teacher asks me to sound it out. Then she asks me to write it out and I get it wrong because I wrote it how it sounds,” said Cassidy.

... I felt awful,” Kori stated, “because I felt like my daughter's needs were getting pushed aside. I was at a loss. How could I choose one child’s needs over another?

It was during this time that Denise Nordell, a LearningQuest tutor, and member of the Friends of the Modesto Library, approached Kori and told her about the KidsQuest program where kids with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) can receive free one-on-one tutoring.

We signed her up, and even though it took a bit to get matched with a tutor, she is like a whole different person.” With the help of Linda Owens, Cassidy’s tutor, Cassidy went from not wanting to read to never wanting to put a book down. “Sometimes, I even wake up in the middle of the night to read because it helps me relax. I can read chapter books now...[but] my favorite book is ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’ by Dr. Suess because my grandma gave it to me.

Others have also begun to see how far Cassidy has come. She was recently celebrated as one of the top students in her class to receive the most improvement points in reading. “I got a call from the principal of her school...He was just amazed by her, and he has never seen a more determined student...Her passion for learning has grown more and more. I am very

proud!" Because of the KidsQuest program, Kori is now not faced with such a difficult decision of choosing one child’s needs over another.

Today, Cassidy continues to work hard to achieve her dreams. “When I grow up, I want to be a dentist, so I can help people. Without dentists, we wouldn’t have teeth, and wouldn’t be able to eat.” Her dentist even agreed for her to shadow him one day.

Thank you to everyone who has made this program possible. You’re building our community and building our future. One day she could be your dentist, and she will be confident and take care of you because you took care of her.


Unfortunately, many parents in our community face the same situation as Kori. A lack of affordable resources takes a toll on the family unit and parents are forced to prioritize the needs of their children.

With your help, they no longer have to make such a difficult decision!

Consider making a big impact with a one-time gift of $[Ask] - or any amount you can - to bridge the gap for families impacted by our programs for years to come!

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