Barbara Ryder is a true blessing who has brought joy and hope to many children in Primary Project for 19 years and counting. Primary Project is program offered by Boys Town South Florida and funded by Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County. It helps students in 12 Palm Beach County elementary schools improve their adjustment to school and enhance their social and emotional well-being.
As Barbara celebrated her 80th birthday, we wanted to celebrate her life by highlighting her. Barbara’s passion for helping children started when she babysat children growing up. As a mother of four with numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren, her role as a Boys Town Child Associate came naturally to her. When she noticed that Jupiter Elementary School was just across from the high school she went to as a teenager, Barbara saw that as a sign she should get involved with helping students there with Boys Town.
As a Child Associate, Barbara has helped many children with diverse difficulties, but one notable experience she shared was when she was able to help a child with selective mutism and witnessed the remarkable moment when the child started speaking in the playroom. When she told the teacher about the student’s progress, that the student would answer questions when asked, the teacher could hardly believe it! The child’s improvement is a testament to her dedication as a Child Associate. Barbara has shared what she has learned from her role below as wise advice to the next generation:
1. In your role as a Child Associate, what have you learned about children you didn’t know before?
They need to feel valued and confident about themselves.
2. If someone else wants to become a Child Associate, what would you say is the most essential skill to have?
3. What would you say if you could advise the younger generation?
Put Christianity in your life, and the rest will follow. Praise God for all your blessings.
Again, we wish you a very happy 80th birthday, Barbara, and thank you for all you do for children in need!
Primary Project is funded by Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County.