Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Heritage House Christmas!

Our town may be small and struggling, but it is certainly not hopeless. One need only venture into the old white house called the Heritage House. This old house has been transformed into a place for youth to come hang out, learn, and be introduced to new things. Janet Schriver, the director, has received grants from the state's Juvenile Justice Department and many of the youth that frequent the house have been in serious trouble with the law and have been court ordered to be there.

The interesting thing though is that the teens absolutely love it! The house is a place they can come every afternoon after school, there is always something to do and there is someone there that cares. On any given afternoon youth can be found practicing choir, dancing in the front room, writing songs, and learning how to use some pretty awesome Apple computers!

Our town really doesn't offer much in the way of entertainment, especially for teens, so it is no surprise that many of these kids found their way into drugs and crime. The Heritage House is certainly meeting a need!

In the past few months I have had the privilege of teaching dance there. I have been working with about 5 youth on a hip hop dance piece for their recent Christmas program and open house. The event was a big success! Take a look at the pics:

All decorated for Christmas!

This is Quez, Deon, and Jarvis, they all dance! Jarvis also won an award at the program- a new bike for having the most potential as an artist. Two other boys won bikes, one for most improved attitude and the other for most improved behavior.

This is Stanley aka Big Grub (winner of most improved behavior). He like to raps and he is pretty good at writing his own songs. He performed a Christmas rap.

Blues singer Bobby Rush performed and was a big hit.

This is the Heritage House Boy's choir. They are really cute and are learning a lot!

Check out this article about the event from the newspaper!


Mod Girl said...

Okay, the dance that you helped with... is there a video on You Tube. Or maybe you can just do the dance for us at Christmas; I've never seen you do hip-hop!

Seriously, what an awesome program. I especially love that it's in a small town. So often it's the small town kids that get overlooked.

Gracie said...

No video online that I know of. The funny thing is that they are all WAY better than me at hip-hop! Next semester I might get to teach some girls ballet...that would be great!!

D&A said...

This is such an awesome opportunity! I'm so glad that you're involved in it, Susie!

I also would love to see the dance! Or was it more of a one time gig? (Ie they made it up as they went?)