The Highlander Institute recently received a $50,000 gift to develop tools that help teachers efficiently implement Response to Intervention (RTI) processes and services in their classrooms and schools. These tools will directly impact teachers and increase the power of their instruction; however, the ultimate goal behind the tools is to improve the academic trajectories of struggling students.
The anonymous gift was granted by a foundation who felt that the collaborations nurtured by the Highlander Dunn Institute had broad implications for school reform work in the educational community. The gift was made in honor of Bryant Wick.
Born in 1961, K. Bryant Wick was an avid sportsman and philanthropist, serving on his family’s foundation for over 20 years. He suddenly and tragically died in 2009 from injuries resulting from an automobile accident.
The motivation behind the Highlander Institute gift is to assist parents and teachers of children confronting learning difficulties and disabilities. But the heartfelt element of this gift is in honor of a wonderful man who loved life, his family, friends, and those young people who deserve a hand in their struggle with learning disabilities.
Bryant was a part of a substantive tradition of philanthropy directed at dyslexia and learning disabilities. He brought to the table a level of passion and spirit that comes only through the adversity and pain one feels when dealing with dyslexia firsthand. Bryant’s attitude towards life showed a drive to succeed and to persuade and encourage others with learning disabilities that they were indeed remarkable individuals, with skills and insights that would see them clear of any hurdle.
Young people need spiritual mentors like Bryant Wick to sustain them when they can only see their own faults and weaknesses. Through this gift and the memories of everyone who knew him, Bryant is still with us, supporting all those who work in the field of learning disabilities and reminding us, repeatedly, that we can if we will.