March 4, 2014
Growing Through Arts® books donated to children in Haiti
Helping children learn and expand their worlds is a passion of mine, and it is especially important for me to try to bring joy to all children, no matter what their circumstances.
That’s why when Dr. Anthony Kremer, a veterinarian in Chicago, told me that he was working to help children in the impoverished country of Haiti, I was moved to donate some of my Growing Through Arts® books to the children there.
Growing Through Arts® is a series of educational storybooks that teach children about ballet and music. The series includes three ballet books – The Cinderella Ballet by Aleksandra, The Sleeping Beauty Ballet by Aleksandra, and the Nutcracker Ballet by Aleksandra – as well as three music-themed books. Each book features an illustrated story, as well as vocabulary words about the arts.
Dr. Kremer is part of an organization called New Life for Haiti, a group based in Plainfield, IL, that is dedicated to helping the people in the Grande Anse River Valley in Haiti by building new schools and homes and providing food, clothing, vitamins, books and school supplies.
Recently, Dr. Kremer and other volunteers from New Life for Haiti visited the village of Moron, to construct a school for 300 children. During the visit, Dr. Kremer brought the Growing Through Arts® books to the children there, and he said they were mesmerized by the colorful illustrations and the magical stories of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker.
“Having your own book is a big deal,” Dr. Kremer says of the children in Haiti. “Even though they are just learning to read and write in some of these schools that we are building, they were fascinated by the pictures and were eager to have someone that spoke Creole tell them the stories.”
By introducing the children to books, Dr. Kremer said they become more inspired to study.
“In the most poverty stricken country on the planet, acts of giving like Aleksandra’s may be first time a child sees the reason that education has a purpose,” he says. “There is a big world with great opportunity out there and the children of Haiti are becoming aware that the only way out is to dedicate themselves to learning.”
In addition to donating the Growing Through Arts® storybooks, I also donated the Growing Through Arts® Stage Scene Play Sets, which feature bendable, re-stickable, pieces that children can play with to ignite their imaginations and re-tell the stores of the famous ballets. Dr. Kremer said the children were immediately drawn to the toys and enjoyed playing with the characters to make the stories come to life.
“These children were so thankful and excited to receive what in Haiti is nothing short of a luxury,” Dr. Kremer said. “The story of Cinderella may be a far-away dream for these girls, but thanks to Aleksandra, there are now a whole lot more princesses in Haiti trying to find their way through a tough world.”