Special Events: Past Programs

After School Art Program 2000

On Oct. 4, 2000 ACTION Foundation Inc. initiated an annual program of art workshops that are part of the after-school programs and are designed to aide underprivileged children whose parents are working extensive hours to support them and so lack the time and often the knowledge to offer their children the psychological and moral support necessary to ensure that they will grow up to be well-adjusted and productive citizens. While these children represent 5% of their age group in Broward County, Florida, the Juvenile Delinquent Center reports that 10% of their detainees are of Haitian descent. ACTION Foundation Inc.'s study of this situation indicates that these children are often referred to by their peers as "boat people", thus creating an identity crisis and often a poor self-image. The result is that these children tend to deny their origin, and their interaction with their parents further deteriorates as they are faced with the sharp contrast of Haitian cultural traditions and American customs and laws. Uprooted and ashamed of their origin, they become disoriented and there is an increased risk of negative and socially unacceptable behavior.

ACTION Foundation Inc. has intervened by presenting the children with positive role models from the Haitian community at large. Internationally acclaimed artists, scholars and entertainers are brought in to animate workshops and share their passion and love for their respective professions. Painting, sculpture, dance and music workshop activities focus around Haitian culture and traditions. The children experience joy, pride and enthusiasm as they learn from and identify with successful individuals of Haitian descent. Results? Paintings created during these workshops have won 1st and 2nd prize in a Broward County art contest for elementary children. These programs are free to the children and available to all interested children regardless of ethnicity or religion.

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