Nonprofit

Children Mending Hearts

Since its inception in 2009, Children Mending Hearts has helped over 12,000 disadvantaged youth become involved in practicing Global Citizenship and positive social activism. The thing we’re most proud of is helping children of ALL cultural, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds learn that they have the power to make a positive difference in another child’s life. After participating in our community outreach events or after school programming, we have seen countless children — most of whom are themselves challenged by poverty, community violence and limited educational opportunities — gain a sense of empowerment as they discover that they have an innate capacity to make life better for someone else. As their sense of pride and self-esteem grows, they become eager to reach out and help in their communities. Some of Children Mending Hearts’ additional achievements include: - Providing free, sustained after school programming for hundreds of youth living in Los Angeles neighborhoods challenged by drugs, gang violence and poverty; - Developing a CMH blog that educates thousands of Los Angeles parents and youth about volunteerism, Global Citizenship and positive social activism; - Sponsoring outreach trips to Haiti, Darfur and Democratic Republic of Congo, where we provided thousands of children living in crisis with arts and educational workshops, in addition to providing them with basic necessities such as shoes and school supplies; - Holding large-scale public children’s events in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York, where hundreds of children learned about the importance of volunteerism and Global Citizenship and participated in projects to help their local communities; - Successfully developing and implementing our Global Arts After School program, including publishing a formal curriculum that teaches middle school-aged youth the importance of acting with empathy and helping people in their own communities as well as the world at large.

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1 Submitted Idea

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    Children Mending Hearts: Kids Helping Kids

    PROJECT BACKGROUND

    Children Mending Hearts (CMH) is a Los Angeles non-profit dedicated to empowering local disadvantaged youth by giving them a chance to help other children. If local youth are provided with opportunities to help other children in need today, they learn how to be more involved, empathetic citizens. The youth participating in our project this year will be active adults in 2050 - they'll be Los Angeles' workforce, parents and policy-makers. We want to help them grow up with a deeply rooted sense that Social Connectedness - volunteerism, empathy and positive social activism - is as fundamental a part of their lives as brushing their teeth or going to school each day. That's where our Global Arts After School Project comes in.

    The CMH Global Arts After School Program teaches youth ages 9-14 about the importance of volunteerism, empathy and being a responsible Global Citizen. Our program helps local youth living in troubled neighborhoods discover that millions of children around the globe are living with even more extreme challenges of poverty, political violence and natural disaster - and that they, as Global Citizens, have the power to reach out and help those children in crisis. Our message: making a positive difference doesn't require a big income or advanced education. It just takes caring, respect for other people's feelings and a willingness to reach out and help.

    Here's how the Global Arts After School Program works: CMH partners with local organizations that serve disadvantaged youth. We provide a free, 10-week after school program for students, complete with curriculum, instruction and supplies. Every class cycle enrolls 25 students, with programs running concurrently at multiple sites. Every after school session features three components: - A CULTURAL LEARNING component teaches students about what life is like for youth living in a country currently suffering from extreme poverty, political violence and/or natural disaster; - Our SOCIAL SKILLS component presents opportunities to learn and practice skills such as empathy, positive communication, respect for cultural differences and appropriate ways to offer help; - HANDS-ON ARTS ACTIVITIES reinforce previous lesson concepts with projects that directly tie to social and cultural ideas presented in class.

    Each program cycle culminates with an international exchange of artwork and written messages between the Global Arts After School students and youth living in the country they have studied. Working with CMH, after school students also help to send supplies and resources so that international youth may also engage in the same project as their Los Angeles counterparts.

    PROJECT NEED

    In the last two years, CMH has received many requests from community youth organizations to expand our After School programming to: - Include more sites; - Increase enrollment; - Expand our curriculum to include current events; - Provide opportunities for students to remain involved throughout high school.

    Many of these requests are due to the fact that we are the only After School program in L.A. focused on teaching a combination of global citizenship, volunteerism and empathy skills. Local leaders recognize the importance of these issues, given high levels of youth violence, drug use and bullying in school and community settings. CMH also has clear positive outcomes for students per evaluation measures administered as part of the program.

    PROJECT GOAL: Improve Social Connectedness in Los Angeles, by increasing the number of local youth ages 9-18 enrolled in Children Mending Hearts programs that teach volunteerism, civic engagement and empathy.

    SUPPORTING OBJECTIVES:

    1. Expand our Global Arts After School program to 4 new public school sites by September, 2013 for a total of 7 sites in Los Angeles; 2. Increase middle school enrollment in the program by 120%, serving a total of 620 students in 2013; 3. Integrate study of current events into our curriculum and create two new arts tracks for the program, enabling students to sustain their participation beyond the initial 10-week session. Each "continuing" curriculum will be comprised of 10 lesson plans and accompanying teaching resources; 4. Hire a part-time (.2FTE) Outreach Coordinator to oversee development of CMH activities for high school students and on-line student outreach resources; 5. Recruit 16 high school students from at least 10 different high schools throughout Los Angeles to serve on a CMH Teen Advisory Council and begin developing programming for youth ages 14-18.

    These objectives will be carried out via our established partnerships with Los Angeles community organizations including Boys & Girls Clubs, After School All Stars, CoachArt and others. Given our current level of outreach and established program infrastructure, we are confident of reaching our stated objectives by December, 2013.