This guest blog post is part one of a four-part series featuring Rocky Mountain Prep (RMP) families and staff members who are reflecting on the question: “How has RMP helped you #ReachYourPEAK?”
This blog was written by April Manzanares, an RMP Creekside parent. Her daughter Ivy, is currently a second grade scholar. April served at the parent representative on the RMP Board of Directors for the past two years.
There are so many reasons RMP is special to me, as well as Ivy. As a single, first-time mother, I was very worried about where Ivy would go to school. As a parent, you want the absolute best for your child and I believe Ivy is at the best school she could be in.
From the first time we walked into RMP, I wanted Ivy to go there. Immediately I felt like we belonged. The quotes in the halls made me relax. I was so nervous as I started the journey that was kindergarten at the time. After taking a tour and visiting classrooms, I was completely convinced that this was the place for us.
I went home hopeful and cancelled all the other tours I had scheduled with the neighborhood schools. I had done my research and was not a fan of any of the other programs. I received a phone call that we were in and we were so excited to start our new adventure with RMP! I have been and continue to be amazed with the stories Ivy brings home each day.
Ivy is now a second grader in Ms. Roberts’ Colby Mules class. In her first year in kindergarten, she received the Audacious Writer award and, in her second year, she became a Voracious Reader; the sky’s the limit this year, as she is already above her reading level and loves math.
The school has not only had an impact on Ivy, but on our entire family. Since the day I heard the news that Ivy had a seat to attend RMP, I decided I would be a parent voice. I started volunteering, attending all the PEAK parties, Family Leadership Council meetings and all the other school events I could. Shortly thereafter, I was asked to be the parent voice on the RMP Board of Directors. The following year I was re-elected and also became the President of the Family Leadership Council.
These leadership roles have opened my eyes to the reality that children in Denver do not have equal access to great schools and that we, as parents, can do something about it.
My involvement with RMP has given me confidence as a public speaker, leader and advocate, and has inspired me to take on new challenges in my life. Growing up, I was the first member of my family to graduate from high school and college was not an expectation for my future. This fall, after 15 years of being out of school, I enrolled in online college classes to earn my bachelor’s degree. I am not sure I would have taken this step without RMP. Our journey with RMP is barely in the middle of the Ivy’s elementary career and we go all-in every day and enjoy every minute of it!