Hour Children needs dance teachers to brighten kids' lives!
Hiring dance teachers and caregivers to look after the children of recently incarcerated mothers.
Update: We did it! This year we were able to pay for Hour Children's After School "Club" for four children, Teresa, Krystal, Natalee, and Nathaniel.Teresa was abandoned by her mother at age six and just completed kindergarten. However, she is having learning difficulties and needs support that our local public school cannot provide. Krystal was born in prison. She has just completed second grade and is still unable to read. She is attending the After School "Club" for help with her reading skills. Natalee's mother Idalia has struggled since witnessing the murder of her father. Idalia is taking Hour Children's parenting classes and could use extra help caring for Natalee and her education. Nathaniel is struggling with his language skills. While his mother Angela completes a sales-training course, he would benefit from the extra support of the Club. We also sponsored dance classes for four children, Micah, Marie, Krystal, and Ashlee at Cathy's Dance Studio. The classes and final performance before a live audience had a tremendous impact on the children's self-esteem. Some of the other girls are now opting for gymnastics classes in addition to dance.
For this project, we would like to support six children with Hour Children's After School "Club" and dance classes at Cathy's Dance Studio. The children of incarcerated mothers often do not have access to tutors or opportunities for cultural enrichment. The After School "Club" partners children with tutors, giving them a positive role model and personal academic support. Cathy's dance classes offer kids the chance perform in front of a live audience, build self-esteem, and dream big!
The After School "Club" and Cathy's dance classes are part of Hour Children’s Hour Early Learning Program (HELP). HELP provides a safe, stimulating environment for a child in his or her early stages of development, whether his mother is in prison or has been released and is working or attending school. The program matches each child with a qualified caregiver, who tends to the child completely and encourages language, motor, and cognitive development. Caregivers also teach mothers important parenting skills, including disciplinary tactics and toilet training. HELP emphasizes the importance of play and reading to children.
We need $2,400 for four students to attend the Hour Children After School "Club" and $2,600 for four children to take dance classes.
Teresa Fitzgerald is a pure New Yorker. She works in Long Island City in Queens. She talks fast. She thinks fast. She acts fast. Even when she smiles, Teresa Fitzgerald gets things done. Teresa Fitzgerald also spends her days hanging out in prisons.
In 1986, Sister Teresa Fitzgerald and four other Sisters of St. Joseph led the opening of St. Rita’s Convent’s doors. They welcomed the children of imprisoned women.