In keeping with the Institute's intention to mount initiatives designed to give our community's children and families the tools needed to thrive educationally, socially,physically and psychologically, we are currently engaged in the following programs and projects:
Our current programs/projects include:
Y-Splash Program - The Maya Angelou Institute, in collaboration with the Winston Lake Family YMCA, developed the Y-Splash program in an effort to close the swimming gap that exists in the African American and Latino communities. Y-Splash teaches children "the life saving skill of swimming." Students participating in the swimming program receive a WSSU/Y-Splash waterproof backpack and a book with a swimming theme that their teachers can use in the reading curriculum. Our goal is to make Y-Splash a county-wide initiative for Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools.
Literacy Initiative - The goal of the Literacy Initiative is to encourage early reading within families by giving age-appropriate books to children ages 0 through 8. By giving books to children who do not always have books in their home, we enable children to discover the world of books and encourage the love for reading. Books are carefully selected to reflect the diversity of the children in our community. To date, over 3000 books have been collected and distributed to children at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health WIC program, The Reading Zoo, The Shalom Project, After school/Kids Café Program, Project Hope, Kids Plus program, and several home daycare facilities. Books have also been distributed for literacy night events and as gifts to students during early grade promotional ceremonies at area elementary schools. The Literacy Initiative also provides opportunities for young children to engage in activities that promote art, music, and dance appreciation as a part of a holistic educational experience. To that end, the Institute sponsored field trips to the Winston-Salem Children's Museum for elementary school third-grader students. The Institute has also sponsored the attendance of Petree and Kimberley Park Elementary Schools third grade students to the Winston-Salem Symphony Discovery Series concerts for children.
Mothers and Daughters: 2gether we CAN! Project - The Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Maya Angelou Institute in collaboration with the WSSU School of Education & Human Performance (SEHP), the Guilford County Department of Social Services, and the Cooperative Extension Service of Forsyth County developed a three-component program designed to promote and develop trusting, supportive, and empowering relationships between Kimberley Park Elementary School's fourth-grade girls and their mothers. The mother-daughter:
- took part in weekly structured low-impact physical fitness activities to strengthen their bodies and their relationship with one another.
- created and maintained an urban community garden on the grounds of Kimberley Park Elementary School as an exercise in cooperation, empowerment, and community-building while producing healthy foods.
- Participated weekly in a curriculum-based support group designed to heal and strengthen the mother-daughter bond.
See some of the scenes from the Mothers and Daughters: 2gether we CAN! Projects
This project is sponsored by the Women's Fund of Winston-Salem.