Wrapping Up Summer!
Wrapping Up Summer!
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Vol. 2  Issue 2                                                                                                                       8/05/2021 

A Word From Dr. Patrice Bax

Greeting! I hope that everyone enjoyed the summer months as we are wrapping up this season and headed back to school!!! We, at Brandon House, are still excited for the participation of our students; grateful for the partnership with Friendship Aspire Academy and the Wellness Clinic; and hopeful for continued success executing our out-of-school time programs. Brandon House still holds health, safety and wellness as a priority for our students and staff. Considering this, we are encouraging all of our staff, students, and families to join us in our monthly COVID swab-testing activities that are administered by The Wellness Clinic Healthy Living Arkansas.  Results are usually available within 48 hours. Meanwhile, we are staying connected to the local and national news about rising numbers of COVID cases, and encourage everyone to get vaccinated and continue wearing their masks while in session. 

We thank you for your continued support and we wish you a great start to the new school year! 

Dr. Patrice Bax
Director of Programs

Welcome New Staff!

Syntin Johnson
Talent Coordinator

My Why:
To foster independent thinking in a creative and challenging environment by providing curriculum and community for gifted and talented individuals, as well as offer preparation for intense development and profession in the arts.

So That:
I serve as conduit between community, academic success and artistic expression by building a bridge that provides knowledge to new situations and adaptation to an ever-changing industry while nurturing inner resources to develop a chain of thinkers who will create the next chapter of creative arts.

Sherry Holloway
Nutrition Coordinator

My Why:
Contribute to positive decision making and support healthy lifestyles choices of the youth participants, families, and AR residents who are connected to Brandon House.

So That:
We all can work together to change the stereotypes, unhealthy outcomes, and unfortunate circumstances that come from unhealthy eating and poor lifestyle choices.

Kids Against Covid
The DreamStarters Program, serving our 6 - 11 year old's, is currently in summer session! We once again want to thank Mrs. Raina Porchay and The Wellness Center, located at 1400 Main St. Little Rock, AR, for stepping in and making sure that our students stay COVID-free by hosting bi-weekly enrichment programming centered around PCR (swab) testing that will continue through the end of programming. 

WOW!!! On July 22nd DreamStarters had some candid conversation with Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Lane Rolling, about COVID-19 testing and vaccination. Students and staff had the opportunity to ask anything that was on their mind regarding the virus.

We want to extend a very special thank you to Raina Porchay from the Wellness Clinic for hosting the event. We also want to thank our special guest Scott Hamilton, CEO/President of the Urban league of the State of Arkansas, Inc.

Dr. Rolling also gifted our Dreamers with pizza and sprite for their attentiveness and their willingness to learn more about COVID-19! Thank you so much Dr. Rolling for continuing to educate communities of color about COVID!

Closing Out Summer
JOIN THE REMIND APP! This app is how we communicate updates about the DreamStarters program. If you have not already please take a moment to join th Remind App! You can join 1 of 2 ways:

Option 1: Click Here to downlad the app and join our group OR  https://remind.com/join/h6fckfe
Option 2: Text @h6fckfe to 81010

We thank you for your patience and participation this summer with Brandon House’s DreamStarters program. In light of Friendship needing to prepare for students coming back to their campus with painting and repairing projects, Brandon House has made the following changes to the summer schedule and location:

Monday, August 9, 2021, and Tuesday, August 10, 2021, the DreamStarters program will be held at our Brandon House site at 3802 W. 12th, Little Rock, AR 72204. Drop-off time is still 7:30 am and pick-up time by 4:00 pm.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021, and Thursday, August 12, 2021, DreamStarters WILL NOT meet.

Afterschool Programming will resume Monday, August 16, 2021 virtually as Brandon House will host the Fresh Start Virtual Pregame program. August 16 - September 2, DreamStarters will meet virtually. (See Information about Fresh Start below). See full parent letter Here.

After-School Enrollment: Students that are currently enrolled are given a spot on a first come first serve basis. Parents please notify staff by August 12th, using the Remind App or in-person, if you would like for your children to transition directly into the after-school program.
We will start recruiting students ASAP for virtual programming. 
Brandon House is hosting the "Fresh Start Virtual Pre-Game Experience" for our DreamStarters students, ages 6-11 to get a head start with learning strategies and tips about common core subjects: Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science.
This virtual experience will be hosted August 16, 2021 – September 2, 2021, Monday through Thursday from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. This Virtual experience will be interactive and students will participate via zoom. If you are a current (summer) DreamStarters parent and would like to carry over enrollment for Fresh Start (and then in person starting Tuesday, Sept. 7th), connect with us via the RemindApp by texting @h6fckfe to 81010.
Once you have signed up please indicate when you use the Remind App whether or not:

- Your child will continue to participate in the program starting Monday August 9 and Tuesday, August 10; and you will drop your child off at the Brandon House location, 3802 West 12th Street.
- Whether or not your child will participate in the virtual programming starting Monday August 16 from 3 to 6 p.m. and whether or not you will need a chrome book at home for your child to participate in the virtual program.  We are making every effort to furnish your child with a chrome book to participate virtually.

Our main point of contact for more information will be the Remind app.

Our year with YVIC is wrapping up and we could not be more proud of the students that have been participating since January, and any that we have gained along the way. We tackled 5 very tough subjects including: Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Teen Pregnacny, Homelessness, and Gang Violence. Through art and research our students were able to debunk myths, find statistics, and dig deep to examine how these topics affect them, the people around them and their community at large.
(Left to Right) Teen Pregnancy 5.22.21 "Feelings & Poetry Exercise",  Homelessness 4.10.21 "Homeless Bag Giveaway", Gang Violence 7.7.21 "Research"
(Left to Right) Homelessness 4.10.21 "Picture Me Homeless", Mental Health 2.27.21 "Rollercoaster of My Life"

AOT Recruitment
As we close out the summer we are already making plans for the future. We are currently recruiting for our Fall session starting Saturday September 11, 2021! If your child is already enrolled for the summer session, then you are covered for the school year! However, we have some additional slots open and we are accepting applicants for the Fall. Please Click Here to apply!
This summer has been a blast. Arts Over Tobacco students participated in the annual Mid-South YADCA Conference. This virtual conference had several keynote speakers and allowed the students the opportunity to go to various tobacco prevention breakout sessions. Thank you to our RAAD partner Shakela Fortson at Center for Healing Hearts for helping to get us set up.

Over the summer, our students also worked hard to perfect the "Too Young To Die" performance that was featured in the City Wide ReUp Event earlier this year. This performance really challenged them to explore issues that minority teens face and channel it through, step, chants, song, and poetry. A very special shoutout to Shenayria Mcdonald for her original poem that was featured in the performance. See Poem Below: 

Knock knock! Reality is here. I was sitting in my room with the pills beside me. I already took 9, and 10th was on it’s way down. I figured if I ended it all, my problems would be gone and that’s when reality hit.  Is it really worth it?  Is it worth the tears the pain, and the guilt of the people left behind that’s when I realized I’m too young to die I was too young to say goodbye, I was too young to leave the world behind not getting a chance to speak out my voice not getting heard that’s what lead to this it’s like a chain every knot on the chain represents every battle that I’ve been through but see that’s why I gotta keep pushing so that chain can grow longer because right now in my head it seems so long when In reality it’s only the length of my hand. I’m so young with a future ahead of me I will have enough time to grow and cope and change and become the person that I’ve been needing these days and that leaves me to say I am too young to die. 
Pictured: Shenayria Mcdonald
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Brandon House Cultural & Performing Arts Center
3802 West 12th Street | Little Rock, AR | 72204 US

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