Welcome to the December Newsletter!
Dear family and friends,
These past two years have been unprecedented and yet we at Azalea Blossom are continuing with our mission and goal of empowering others through the arts, one person at a time. It has not always been easy and our trajectory has been altered many times but with your support, we are persevering. Unlike many non profit organizations who were able to receive payroll assistance (loan forgiveness) during the pandemic, Azalea Blossom has relied almost solely on the generous support of donors like you.
Did you know that the SAFE through the arts program has been actively utilizing the five competencies of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) long before it became a popular topic? We do this through utilizing arts and puppets to engage students in acquiring skills for building their Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Responsible Decision Making, Social Awareness and Relationship Skills. We also teach compassionate communication through Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication model. The program has been widely successful in all PreK-2 classrooms where it has been implemented and especially in Special Education Classrooms where one teacher commented: “The program touches on all the learning modalities for our students to retain the objective. Best of all, students and staff learn to feel good about the qualities they possess.”
As you are aware, due to COVID, we have been unable to bring the SAFE through the arts bullying prevention program to schools for almost two years. As it is uncertain when we will be able to reconvene, much of our energy in the last year has been directed at producing a television series of the SAFE through the arts program. The projected SAFE series will include the same lessons and tools as the SAFE through the arts program but we will be able to reach an even greater audience. Children will still be able to engage in the arts through drawing and singing along with our cast of puppets. Each episode has a different theme and lesson and is geared towards a culturally diverse audience. Following is a quick video from our recent shoot for the SAFE through the arts trailer. We are excited to start shopping our project to networks at the beginning of the year.
Amanda Grace with Bobby Bunny
Photo Credits: Amy Jade Gong
Meanwhile, we are looking forward to bringing back the Bricks in the Wall project to domestic violence shelters in whatever way is feasible and safe in 2022. In addition to music, we would like to add trauma-informed and SEL-focused yoga to our program taught by our own Amy Jade Gong (Director of Art at Azalea Blossom and creator of our beautiful puppet images).
In the frightening and ever changing world in which we live, there is an escalating and urgent need to promote compassion, kindness and self-empowerment in whatever way we can to the people who needed it most – our compromised populations. The creative and performing arts, which have longtime been recognized as a vehicle for social and emotional change, is Azalea Blossom’s solution to promoting positive change. We have seen our programs work and visualize continued success in whatever forms our programs take. We are courageous and resilient and wiling to adapt our programs to the ever changing needs.
Please won’t you join us by making a contribution of any size to our End of Year giving campaign? Donations can be made through our website at www.AzaleaBlossom.com or by sending a check to Azalea Blossom, Inc., POB 21777, Brooklyn, NY, 11202. As we are an established 501(c)(3) educational non profit organization, all donations are tax deductible.
You still have time to make a donation from now through December 31st in order to receive your tax deduction. Your contribution will help mobilize self confidence, awareness and compassion in the children of our communities, while nurturing skills for their inner success, and helping them develop positive habits, which will sustain them for years to come.
Money is not the only way in which you can support Azalea Blossom. If you are unable to make a financial contribution at this time, please consider giving your time. We currently have volunteers throughout the United States and abroad. Our volunteer opportunities include internships, committee work, and serving on our Board of Directors. We also welcome in-kind donations of supplies. Please contact us for our current needs.
We are grateful for every one of you. We wish you a very peaceful and safe holiday season and an abundantly empowered and compassionate New Year.
With love, gratitude, and all best wishes,
Margaret Jean Bernstein,
Founder and Executive Director,
Azalea Blossom, Incorporated