Vandal Voices is a ground-breaking project in partnership with Miami Unified School District for students, grades kinder to fifth. We have devised “creative stations” on storytelling, visual arts, poetry and drama on Fridays this fall at Lee Kornegay Intermediate School that encourage creative exploration and self-expression. A significant goal of this project is to teach creative practices for emotional processing and to foster a brave space for healthy social interaction as counterpoints to the isolation and anxiety sustained by the pandemic. Just by walking through the space for five minutes, we overheard a kid introducing Bamboo, the Panda to her puppet friends and another child writing an acrostic poem of her name where “A stands for Amazing.” We saw a group of children hopping like frogs in their character masks to the beat of the drum and another group of children finger painting their favorite memory with happy colors.
While our art projects will be process-oriented, they will culminate in a public showcase and printed and digital forms that will be shared with the school community. We are deeply grateful to United Fund of Globe-Miami for partnering with us in this unique project. It is our hope to create more spaces like this to foster the social-emotional well-being of our local children and ignite their natural curiosity for learning.