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AhHa!Broadway's '1,000 Kids' Project Brings Technology And Arts To NYC Students

On Sunday, May 22, the non-profit organization presented 25 students in Queens with HP Chromebooks, in addition to a musical performance of "The Kindness Project."

AhHa!Broadway's '1,000 Kids' Project Brings Technology And Arts To NYC Students

Realizing that many students are unable to access the technology or arts programs they need - even in the country's largest school system - AhHa!Broadway is working to bring computers, wifi, and live theatrical productions to New York City students through its "1,000 Kids" initiative.

With only $3,300 raised of the $60,000 goal as of Jan. 3 for this year's initiative, a post on the "Humans of New York" social media pages went viral, reaching millions internationally. It ultimately persuaded more than 3,000 donors to pledge close to $70,000.

The goal of AhHa!Broadway's "1,000 Kids" is to help close the digital divide, believing that every day a child goes without a working computer or proper internet access, due to infrastructure or economic realities, is a day of education lost forever.

On Sunday, May 22, the non-profit organization presented 25 students in Queens with HP Chromebooks, in addition to a musical performance of "The Kindness Project," an original play that encourages kindness and respect for others. The event was made possible, in part, thanks to support from New York State Senator Leroy Comrie of the 14th Senatorial District of Queens, who also delivered remarks.

"Every New Yorker deserves the opportunity to learn, to perform, and to believe in themselves. AhHa!Broadway exists to make this possible," said Heather Edwards, co-founder and CEO of AhHa!Broadway. "Our '1,000 Kids' initiative was created to ensure that performing arts education is always accessible. From the time children develop motor skills, they rely on the arts to learn how to communicate, think critically, empathize, and understand the human condition."

It was Edwards' husband, Marc Raco, who posted on the "Humans of New York" account about his wife's selfless project that needed support. He wrote, "Her goal is to bring performing arts education to underserved individuals. They've done some great programs, but she's having a tough time with it ... It's been hard to watch her cry through the disappointments. This is the most important thing I've ever seen be important to her, and I really want her to succeed. Because I love her. But also because I never want her to lose faith in the goodness of the world."

The thousands of comments on the post were filled with encouragement, love, and applause.

Learn more at https://ahhabroadway.org/1000kids/. AhHa!Broadway collaborates with 21 Ethos, a tech education and career development company, on the "1,000 Kids" project.

Photo credit: Emmersen Tormey

 



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