Morrow Elementary School

Kids Speak For Themselves

A very brief blog to suggest you spend just two minutes doing something else — watching our new video. It shows young girls offering their honest, unscripted, unprompted opinions of our Humanity Club after being in that Humanity Project program for one full year. Check it out! It’s sure to make you smile … and show you more of what the Humanity Project really does.

Garden Of Respect

Doesn't something called a "Garden of Respect" sound like a wonderful place to be? Well, the Humanity Project has created just such a place with lots of help from the kids at Morrow Elementary School ... and vital funding from our friends at Children's Services Council of Broward County. It's a permanent large garden that reminds children daily about the importance -- and the beauty -- of respectful behavior.

The idea came about through our innovative Humanity Club program, where the Humanity Project works with a core group of all-girl student leaders of color. These girls came up with the original design, including a birdbath. With our generous money from Children's Services Council of Broward County, the Humanity Project bought a huge amount of garden plants, decorative items, mulch and more — including that birdbath of course. And rocks. Hundreds of Morrow Elementary students then painted the rocks on the theme of respect and incorporated the decorative rocks into their Garden of Respect.

Just some of the Respect Rocks painted by the students at Morrow Elementary

Everyone at Morrow is so taken with the garden that the school administrators have expanded the plantings beyond the original concept … and decided to keep adding to the garden in the weeks ahead. Already stretching across much of the front of this school, the Garden of Respect will see additional student-painted rocks and more plants soon.

Take a look for yourself at a few more pics. A lovely enduring example of a partnership among a wonderful school, Children's Services Council of Broward County and the Humanity Project. We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help.

Teaching Young Hearts Through The Arts

Morrow Elementary students creating posters about respect-for-all

At Morrow Elementary School, in North Lauderdale, Florida, the Humanity Project is teaching every student what respect for others really means. And the means to that meaning, our tool for teaching, is the arts.

That’s always the key to our acclaimed Humanity Project programs — teaching with play, teaching through the arts. As you see in the collage photo above, our kids this week and last week took part in drawing their own posters focused on respect for every person. Grades K - 5 were involved, from very young children to those just about ready for middle school. That art project is only one of many efforts the Humanity Project is heading up this entire school year at Morrow, even as we visit other schools with our Antibullying Through The Arts program. And continue promoting our I Care program as well, of course.

In the forefront of our work at Morrow is the Humanity Club, nine all-girl student leaders who have been part of our afterschool workshops throughout the school year. These fun but informative sessions taught the girls about respect-for-all, diversity and self-worth. Now our young leaders are helping us bring those ideas to their peers through the art project, through a three-week schoolwide respect contest (first prize: an iPad!) and finally through the construction of a Garden of Respect. (Funding for that garden was provided to the Humanity Project generously by Children’s Services Council of Broward County.)

The Humanity Project believes the best way to reach young hearts, and teach lessons that stick, is through the arts. The results over the nearly 14-year life of our nonprofit suggest that it’s a very good approach indeed.

You Are Stardust

Hubble telescope image courtesy of NASA

How do you teach a young child concepts such as the importance of respect for every individual, the value of diversity and the need for self-worth? Ideas that even many adults couldn’t explain clearly …

At the Humanity Project, we teach through play: videos, music, games, roleplaying and more. Art inspires the emotion that helps concepts to stick in the mind. One of our arts-based ideas for teaching also is science-based. We show kids that among the many reasons each person deserves respect is this amazing fact: Most of the materials inside every human being are formed from stardust. Literally. Science knows that elements such as carbon, oxygen, iron and nearly everything else that makes up you and all of us can only be manufactured by the extreme temperatures created within stars.

That’s an extraordinary notion to learn — for kids and adults both. And so we suggest you check out our latest video, just posted on the Humanity Project YouTube channel. It is called simply, “You Are Stardust.” Watch the video!

It’s short, it’s engaging, it’s factual … and offers us one more way to connect with kids. It was made with help from our Humanity Club girls at Morrow Elementary, many of them appearing in the video. And now they will help us bring the video and a short talk about this topic to every student in their school, classroom by classroom. The goal is to encourage the entire student body to treat everyone in school with respect, part of our year-long Humanity Club project at Morrow. Kids teaching kids, kids helping kids … That’s what we do at the Humanity Project.