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Current statistics on youth homelessness and poverty in our nation's capitol are heartbreaking. In Washington, D.C., nearly 30% of children live at or below the poverty line. East of the Anacostia River, child poverty rates are even higher (40% in Ward 7, and nearly 50% in Ward 8). As poverty in D.C. increases, so does homelessness; the number of homeless families in the city rose 19% from 2011 to 2012. Tragically, there are nearly 2,000 children in homeless families in Washington, D.C. this year.
We know that children and youth experience a wide array of problems due to their homelessness and poverty. Homeless children are three times more likely to exhibit emotional and behavioral problems than their housed counterparts. They are four times more likely to display delayed academic development. Poor children also are twice as likely to be suspended, expelled, or drop out of high school.
How can you help these children in need? Please make a donation today!
For nearly twenty years, Project Create has worked to counter the debilitating impact of homelessness and poverty on the lives of thousands of children and youth in the District. In partnership with organizations that provide housing for homeless families (like SOME and Community of Hope), Project Create provides positive youth development, through arts education and enrichment, to at-risk, underserved D.C. children.
People often ask me: how does art help? Art makes it possible for children to recover from and be resilient in tough times. For Project Create students and their families, most of whom live in high-poverty neighborhoods East of the Anacostia River, it can be difficult to find, in their own world, the beauty and creative potential of life when they are so busy simply surviving. But, in the lives of our students, art lifts their spirits and grants them creative opportunities to transcend the limitations of their lives with hope for the future. Through art they learn to communicate more effectively and to act as their own advocates.
A new study by the National Endowment for the Arts found that at-risk children exposed to the arts had better academic outcomes, higher career goals, and greater civic engagement. Thus, they contribute more to their communities, achieve more, and have higher aspirations, all from engaging in art!
Art is not a luxury. It is a necessity. The act of artistic creation is transformative, and, for the large population of children in our city who are experiencing poverty and homelessness, the potential impact of this transformation is even more necessary and more urgent.
Will you support Project Create in our effort to transform the lives of children and youth in need? We need your help to succeed in this important mission. Your donation will allow Project Create to create art, create opportunity and create community in the lives of homeless and poor children in Washington, D.C. Together we can make a dramatic impact where it matters the most! Please donate in one of the following ways:
1) Mail a check to Project Create, 2401 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037;
2) Donate online through Network for Good;
3) Call (202) 660-2555 to arrange for a credit card transaction; or
4) Participate in the 2012 Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capitol Area. Project Create's CFC number is 31621.
On behalf of Project Create students, I thank you in advance for your support. We are so grateful for your participation in our important mission.
Christie Walser, Executive Director