Happy New Year To Our Jeremiah Friends
Volume 5        

Creative Expression In the New Year

Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts had this to say about arts programs for young people.

"Having the arts in young people's lives is essential; we know that intuitively. Parents sing to their babies, dance with their toddlers, and occupy children with crayons and paper.  And there was a time in this country when schools did their parts: bands, choruses, theatricals, and art studios used to fill the days alongside the 3 Rs, gym, social studies, science, and the rest.
But over the past four decades, budget pressures and an increasing focus on just reading and math have crowded the arts out of too many school days. What's lost? The chance for a child to express himself. The chance for the idiosyncratic child who has not yet succeeded elsewhere to shine. A sense of play, of fun, of discovery."

The Jeremiah Project is so grateful to our supporters for recognizing the importance of art and creativity in the lives of at-risk youth.  A special thanks to The Gurtler Foundation, The Galloway Foundation, The Hume Foundation, the City of Winter Park, Jack Schott with the John Templeton Foundation Fund, The Welsh Charitable Trust, and the Greater Orlando Builders Association (GOBA) for their generous contributions sustaining our program.  
A Jeremiah Christmas Miracle
The joy of the holiday season was made manifest for the Friends of Jeremiah during our holiday party on December 14th.  Partners, funders, Board members, and FCCWP congregants toured the pottery studio and computer lab to see first hand the creative work accomplished by our young artists.  Fifteen students from the Downtown/Coalition for the Homeless Boys & Girls Club transformed from their roles as students to teachers as they guided visitors in experiencing their own version of creativity on the pottery wheels, computer tablets, and at the glazing table.  Our studios were filled to capacity and abuzz with excitement and creative energy.  Ear to ear grins graced the proud faces of Jeremiah students as their new found proficiencies were on full view for the community to behold.  There were a few tears in the eyes of staff members as they witnessed the results of months of technical training in the computer lab and pottery studio.  It truly was our Christmas miracle.
Following the studio tour, students and visitors shared in a meal celebrating the event and the season.

 Thank You Is the Best Present

Jeremiah Staff were the recipients of thank you cards from students at the Downtown/Coalition for the Homeless Boys & Girls Club.  Some of the sentiments expressed by our kids included the following: 
Jerome had this to say:
"I appreciate you all for the opportunity to create many works of art with my hands.  You have given me a gift that I can't repay you for.  I wish to give you my gratitude by making a little drawing.  Time to time I wish I could spend a whole day at the Jeremiah project."
Brianna wrote:
"Dear, my favorite Jeremiah team, I want to thank you all for the wonderful pottery and technology experience you give.  Not everyone gets the opportunity to go to pottery, but I really do appreciate your time that you take away just to tend to us.  We may not show it as much but we love coming and seeing you all.  The best part of our week is coming to pottery.  Coming to you all is a stress reliever for me.  I love the way you all make us feel welcome and appreciated."
 It was truly gratifying to realize all the  hours of curriculum development, partner negotiations, and spread sheet scheduling had somehow achieved the desired impact.  Best Christmas present ever!   
Fostering Creativity
The holidays provide an excellent opportunity for Jeremiah to reach out to kids whose school schedules prevent them from accessing our regular after school programming. This winter holiday provided just such a time for teen girls from group foster care homes operated by Friends of Children and Families.   One group participated the week before Christmas.  The pottery wheel is always a teen favorite and this time was no exception.  The girls were amazed and delighted as they transformed a wet ball of clay into a beautiful bowl.  Using their hands and imaginations, the girls decorated and glazed pre-formed ceramic plates.  Read more.

Mission Statement

"The mission of The Jeremiah Project is to enhance creative and critical thinking skills and improve self-esteem among at risk youth through creative expression programs.  These programs include ceramics, digital and performing arts."