For Leonard Attman and his wife Phyllis, donating to an educational center that had given so much to their family was a natural decision.
Inspired by their son’s learning differences due to his dyslexia, the duo founded Jemicy School in 1973. The Owings Mills institution, geared toward students with dyslexia and other language-based learning differences, not only educated the couple’s son but five of their grandchildren.
“They had to learn how to study in a way that worked for them,” Leonard Attman said. “It gave them the desire to go to college and get a job in their fields. Jemicy’s mission is an outstanding one, and the way the school goes about fulfilling its mission makes it that much more important to continue.”
Longtime donors and local alumni gathered at the school at 11 Celadon Road in Owings Mills for the dedication of The Phyllis and Leonard Attman Family and Alumni Center. Before a crowd of roughly 100 Maryland residents, Jemicy School unveiled its new gymnasium and multipurpose room with a two-hour ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 14.
The center has been a long-anticipated feat, said Ben Shifrin, who has served as head of the school for 16 years.
“This is just an enhancement to our curriculum in helping our children reach their full potential,” Shifrin said. “We can’t thank that Attmans enough for making dreams come true for these kids.”
In addition to donations from alumni, the Attman Family contributed a significant amount of money to the project, completing the final initiative of the school’s Step Forward Campaign. The combined effort raised more than $1 million, leading to the construction of a building that will allow students to “express themselves outside of the classroom.”
“An elementary education setting is really the area where these kids learn how to put their best foot forward and how to be proud of themselves,” Attman said. “Many come to Jemicy feeling down that they have to go to a school that’s different from the schools their friends go to. But that’s not the case when they leave. They feel well-educated and ready to go out into the world.”