Preschooler overcomes separation anxiety to become a star student


Tony started preschool at FBC in December of 2019. Tony never wanted to be away from his mother’s side. So, on Tony’s first day of school, his mom, Adelina, made the drive to FBC and stayed with Tony and his class the entire first week of school.


Tony’s teacher Gabe Carrejo says, “He was fine as long as his mom was within three feet of him.” He explains, “As soon as Tony’s mom walked away to visit with other students or leave the classroom, he would lose it.”


So, Gabe worked out a plan of gradual separation with hope Tony could ease into being away from his mom for longer periods of time. Tony was not on board with the plan! Still, he would scream, yell and cry every time his mom left to run an errand or even walk the hallways at FBC.


Two weeks passed and Tony was still not on board with this plan..  “We kind of resolved that it would just be a tough year as we worked on this goal”, says Gabe. The classroom staff tried different approaches and tested different angles, Adelina committed that she would always drop Tony off and pick him up so that he could count on that consistency.

Tony poses wearing a large sombrero

Each day Gabe worked with Tony. About a month passed and Tony surprised his teachers. He stopped crying while at school and also he showed himself to be quite an amazing student.  Tony’s personality blossomed and he started to show his determination as worked on tasks over and over again until he made progress. Also, Tony has a wonderful sense of humor and a contagious laugh, being the class clown Tony loved showing off his sombrero for “funny hat day’.


Throughout the school year, FBC became home for Tony and his family. Not only because of the support system but due to the amount of time Tony’s mother spent comforting her son at FBC. Gabe says, “Tony’s mom became an important part of our class that year, frequently visiting us, bringing food to the staff and hugs for the other students.”  But thanks to Tony and his teachers’ hard work, Tony could continue the school day without his mom present. Your support allows other students to gain independence like Tony. Thank you.