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September 2023 Project:

Arts Festival and Activity Bags at Allies for Every Child

Project Overview:

In-Person Event: Volunteers will choose from one of three shifts to volunteer to set-up and work at the arts festival designed to give families involved in the early childhood education program a family day of fun and learning! 

 

At-home kit: Volunteers will create activity bags to be gifted to children enrolled at the early childhood education program at Allies for Every Child.

What we'll do:

In-Person Event:

  • Volunteers will volunteer to set up, run games and craft stations, and help clean up at the Allies for Every Child Arts Festival.

  • Volunteers will assist with: set up of stations, pumpkin coloring, leaf "marble" painting, sand and water table, modeling clay/play doh station, music and movement, ring toss, bubble machine, cornhole, hula hoops, and potato sack races.

  • Volunteers will ensure a great day for children and their families! 

  • Learn about Allies for Every Child and why their work is so important and how it is changing lives!

At-Home Kit:

  • Use the project directions and supplies included in the FAVE Kit to create 3 activity bags for preschool children served by Allies for Every Child. 

  • The activity bags will feature items to allow children to express themselves through art and sensory activities to help stimulate their young minds and spark creativity! 

  • Kits should be returned to FAVE so that FAVE can distribute them to Allies for Children. (Please see instructions for returning completed kits on project instructions)

  • Check out our educational materials and learn about Allies for Every Child and why their work is so important and how it is changing lives!

How to join us In-Person on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023:
  • Click the button below to sign up for the event

  • Choose one of the three volunteer shifts: 

  • Shift 1: 8:00 AM -10:30 AM

  • Shift 2: 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM

  • Shift 3: 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

How to join us from home:
  • Please sign up for the at-home opportunity below.

  • Kits are included for FAVE Fam Members

  • FAVE Free members are welcome, you can purchase a project kit below

Where the activity bags are being donated:

This month our partner is Allies for Every Child.

Their mission: Allies for Every Child focuses on children and families affected by trauma. They have a comprehensive program including mental health services, abuse prevention and intervention services, early childhood education, and foster and adoption services to help address issues from trauma in order to heal and strengthen families to give them the bright future they deserve. 

EDUCATION + ADVOCACY MATERIAL
Overcoming trauma, healing families, and giving children the stability they need for a bright future is the focus of Allies for Every Child.

They also focus on foster and adoption services with ongoing support. Please use the education and advocacy material to help guide your children through the importance of supporting this non-profit partner and to help them understand how their volunteer service is helping with that mission! 

For Younger Children:
These books, clips, reports, and read alongs are great to introduce younger children and preschoolers to adoption:

Read aloud of Todd Parr’s We Belong Together

Read aloud of We Match on the Inside by Christine and Anastasia Bukowski

Allies for Every Child also helps children affected by trauma. This can be a difficult subject for younger kids. Start by talking about feelings. Ask your child(ren) what they can do when they have big feelings. Talk about the importance of play and having fun to release the stress of big feelings. This will help them begin to understand why Allies for Every Child is incorporating education and fun into their approach to helping to heal children and families. 

“For young children, play is a powerful form of communication. With toys, children play out their concerns and explore possible solutions. By encouraging play, they’re naturally able to release the concerns and feelings, which decreases stress.”
-Ann Thomas, LCSW, Author, President/CEO
The Children’s Place

Watch this Sesame Street clip where Big Bird talks about coping strategies.

Watch this Sesame Street clip about Abbie’s Broken Wand about caring for yourself and about caring for others.

For Middle Grades:

Even though we often think of Sesame Street as being for the pre-school set, the Sesame Workshop website offers many materials suited for older elementary and middle school students.

Watch this intro clip that talks about how parents and caregivers can help with trauma:

Sesame Workshop explains trauma:

“Traumatic experiences are events or circumstances that threaten one’s life, mental health, or physical well-being. Trauma is the physical and emotional response to those experiences. One in four children endure more than one traumatic experience, and research shows that that can have serious, lifelong effects."

Every child responds to trauma differently, but if traumatic experiences remain unaddressed, they have serious long-term effects on children’s well-being. It doesn’t have to be that way. Research also shows we’re stronger than we know, and that having trusted and caring adults who love, support, and protect kids makes all the difference. As a parent or other close caregiver, you hold the power to change the course of kids’ lives after these experiences.  

Traumatic experiences can include: 

  • emotional, physical, or sexual abuse 

  • emotional or physical neglect 

  • witnessing violence against one’s mother 

  • a parent’s addiction to alcohol or other substance

  • a family member’s mental illness 

  • separation or divorce 

  • the incarceration of a parent 

  • involvement with the foster care system 

  • witnessing community violence 

  • living in an unsafe neighborhood 

  • bullying 

  • experiencing racism

Traumatic experiences may be one-time events or they may be frequent and repeated — part of a child’s environment — resulting in toxic stress that elevates unhealthy stress levels over time. One in four children experience more than one of these events, and traumatic experiences have been proven to negatively impact brain development, learning and memory, social skills, and mental and physical health.

But there’s good news. There are things that help:

The good news is that our brains and bodies are resilient, and there are protective factors that can lessen the impact of trauma: 

  • Parent/caregiver resilience and knowledge: parents who can cope and who understand their child’s development, positive parenting strategies, and their own responses to trauma 

  • Nurturing and attachment: When parents and other caring adults stay tuned in to kids’ needs and support them with love  

  • Social connections: When kids have family, friends, and neighbors who help 

  • Basic needs: having food, shelter, clothing, and health care

  • Social and emotional skills: When kids and parents have ways to understand, express, share, and manage their feelings”

The “things that can help” section represents some of the things that Allies for Every Child is providing to the children it supports!

Here you will find links to more resources for understanding traumatic childhood experiences.

For Upper Grades and Adults:
ChildMindInstitute_Logo_Horizontal.jpg

For older children and adults, this article gives an overview of what childhood trauma is and its effects.

​WHY WE'RE HELPING ALLIES FOR EVERY CHILD
Allies for Every Child is bringing families together through services to address trauma, through foster/adoption services, and through education. Helping create fun activities through the Fall Arts Festival and with the donated activity bags, volunteers are helping to support that mission!
Options for donating your kit
Project Due: October 6, 2023
OPTION 1: DROP OFF YOUR KIT

Drop off to LA Works Office

  • Hours: M - F 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

  • Address: 570 W. Avenue 26 Suite #400, Los Angeles CA 90065

  • We are located at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens.

  • Our offices are inside the big white warehouse building, enter where it says “Studio Arts” and find the door that says L.A. Works.

  • If no one is there, leave it on the wooden bench by the door with Attn: Shayn Ferriolo.

Drop off to Hermosa Beach:

OPTION 2: MAIL YOUR KIT

Mail your kit to our office:

570 W. Avenue 26 Suite 400, Los Angeles CA 90065 (Attn: Shayn Ferriolo)

Mail your kit to Hermosa Beach:

Email shayn@laworks.com for the address

If neither of these options works for you, please reach out! We'll do our best to sort a pick-up or alternative.

THANKS FOR BEING AWESOME!

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