H.E.E.R. PLUS ARTS and HUMANITIES Program Report Form 2015-2016
CONTINENTAL SOCIETIES, INCORPORATED
H.E.E.R. PLUS ARTS and HUMANITIES
Program Report Form
|Chapter: Greater Miami Chapter||Number of Children Served: 12|
|Dollars Spent: $240.20||Pre K-6th Grade 5|
|7th -12th Grade: 7|
| College: 0 Babies/Toddlers: 0
|In Kind Service Amount: $0|
|Number of Volunteer Hours: 30||Number of Grants:0|
|Amount of Grants: $ 0.00|
|Number of Chapter Members Participating: 10||Corporate Partners: 0|
|Number of Parents and Guardians Involved: 1||Continental Guys: 0|
|Number of Other Organizations Involved: 0|
|Component (s): Arts & Humanities
National Initiatives: ___________________________________________
CONTINENTAL SOCIETIES, INC.
Greater Miami Chapter
Arts & Humanities
The Greater Miami Chapter of the Continental Societies, Inc. partnered with Miami-Dade County’s Community Action and Human Services Department to introduce “The Echoes of Freedom Experience” to elementary and middle school students enrolled in their aftercare program. “The Echoes of Freedom Experience” are black history lessons told through dance and drama.
The project’s objective was for students to learn about past and present African Americans who have made significant contributions to our society as well as notable events that have taken place in America. Miami-Dade County’s Community Action and Human Services Department Perrine Afterschool program is located in a community where only 7.71% (City-Data.com) of its residents have obtained an Associate Degree or higher; the estimated median household income is $16,827 with 47.9% below the poverty guidelines; and an unemployment rate of 19.5%. Children enrolled in the aftercare program attend nearby elementary and middle schools in the Perrine community. Often times, children believe their future is a mirror of their environment. Having the opportunity to learn about great people who have overcome some of the same obstacles they face today would give them the motivation and willpower to make a change in their lives and the lives of their families.
The Bethel Church has presented the Echoes of Freedom production for the past fifteen (15) years. Stories have included the Montgomery Boycott, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, John Earl Reese, and the 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama. This year’s production featured video, dance and drama presentations of Alvin Ailey and his signature choreographic work “Revelations”; The Freedom Riders; Mr. and Mrs. Medgar Evers; Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and The Wiz. Performers ranged from ages 3 to adults, with most of them under the age of 16.
The project was structured over a two-week period.
Week 1: Meet with students and introduce “Echoes of Freedom”
Week 2: Discuss experiences and create paintings on canvas
Week 1: The Continental Societies, Inc., Greater Miami Chapter met with the students on Friday, February 26, 2016. Chapter members introduced themselves and explained the purpose for providing them the opportunity to see Echoes of Freedom. Many of the children never saw a production like this before and were very excited. There were twelve (12) children ranging from elementary to high school.
Students were told they would have an opportunity in week 2 to talk about what they saw and what was learned. Students were provided pizza and drinks before boarding the bus to see Echoes of Freedom. While eating, CSI members were able to sit with the students and talk about their interests and goals for their future.
Students were met with more Continental members as they arrived at the church. A section was secured in the building for everyone to sit together. The children were attentive and engaged the moment the show began. A few of the performers were even classmates to some of the aftercare children. During the finale number, two children were invited on stage to dance with the cast members.
Week 2: Chapter members returned to the aftercare program on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 to meet with the students to discuss their experiences in witnessing Echoes of Freedom. The children talked about the different costumes the performers wore for each performance. They also talked about not only learning more about Medgar Evers and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but learning how Mrs. Evers and Mrs. King did not let the tragedy of losing their husbands stop them from continuing to fight for civil rights. Some enjoyed the production so much that a couple of students returned on another day to see it again with their families.
Each student was given a canvas, paint and paint brushes. Continental Brenda Alford asked the children to think about what they saw, what they heard, how they felt, and to put all of it in their painting. She told them to think about the colors in the dancers’ garments, their movements, and to use those strokes to draw their pictures.
At first, the children were apprehensive about painting; however, once they began they really got into the project.
In conclusion, the children expressed their joy in learning about their history through the arts. They spoke of learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in school, but loved to learn about other great contributors. They also enjoyed the painting. Some children do not express themselves verbally. This showed the children that there are different ways in which we can express our thoughts and feelings.