When Myra Janco Daniels read about all the cuts to arts programs in our schools, she wanted to make sure that the arts were supported in the Latchkey Children’s curriculum. Upon opening the Fran Cohen Youth Center on The Salvation Army campus, she participated in developing their programs to include dance, music, art, theater, pottery, culinary pursuits and communication classes.
The Center has a large music room which houses three pianos, ten keyboards and private lessons are given on these instruments along with bass and guitar by our volunteers. They have a choir and drama classes. They have performed for their parents and volunteers at various events.
In the Child Development Center, the children are encouraged to participate in Kindermusik, which is a wonderful program to help learn new skills and discover new ways to explore and develop their own creativity. The Center has its own pottery wheel and kiln and the students are taught by Joan Eshkenazi, a well-known potter and artist.
Latchkey League volunteers work closely with the children to create pottery. They are very proud of their pieces and displayed them at our Latchkey League meetings. A full commercial kitchen is available and classes in culinary cuisine are taught by Miss
Beth. They learn food preparation and the components of healthy diets. Added to these opportunities is a dance studio, art room and a computer lab for homework and creativity.
Tutors are also available for school assignment help. In the main room is The Book Nook, a very popular spot with the children. Children explore the wonders of reading, can borrow books and volunteers are on hand to help with their selections and/or read to them. Many of the books have been donated by individuals and by Books for Collier Kids.
Another very important component of the program is recreation. The Salvation Army has built a large playground on their campus for this purpose. The fence around the play area is to be decorated with acrylic butterflies in different sizes and colors. Latchkey Members and their friends have been given the opportunity to purchase one with their name or name of a loved one imprinted on them.
The largest butterfly is 15” x 10” and is $500; middle size is 15” x 8” and is $250. The smallest butterfly is 11” x 18” and is $100. If you are interested in supporting this project, please call Judy Tedder, President of the Latchkey League, at 239-254-0843.
Your support of these Latchkey Children is important to their futures and to ours because today’s children are our future.