Grants In Action

Yo-Yo Dancer Spins a Positive Message for Kids

Charlie Brown at Needham High SchoolThanks to an NEF small grant, life coach and yo-yo dancer Brett Outchcunis (aka DJ Ooch) brought his upbeat SuperPOWER antibullying program to Needham for third- through fifth-graders. His program, which supports the NPS mission to address bullying, uses an entertaining mix of storytelling, dance, and yo-yo tricks to empower students to draw on their unique SuperPOWERs and to be a part of the antibullying solution. A self-proclaimed former bullying victim, Outchcunis shared his own personal experiences to connect with students and give his message credibility. During his presentation, Outchcunis emphasized the value of self-confidence and showing respect for others. He gave tips on how to recognize bullying situations and report bullying incidents to adults.

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International Dance Educator Leads Hands-On Workshops and Performance

International Dance WorshopIndian culture came alive this winter for more than 300 Broadmeadow Elementary School students during an Indian classical dance residency from international dance educator and performance artist, Tara Ahmed. Ahmed has performed and taught in India, Colombia, Brazil, Turkey, and the United States. Her television appearances include WGBH’s DanceFest and Greater Boston Arts programs.

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Flame Rocks Needham Schools

In October 2011, FLAME rocked the town in a musical kick-off of Disabilities Awareness at Broadmeadow, Eliot, Mitchell and Newman elementary schools. An international touring success that has released four CDs and been featured in PEOPLE and on Good Morning America, FLAME is a band of musicians with disabilities spanning autism, blindness, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. To advocates of disabilities awareness in Needham, FLAME is a living example of the program’s message: That people with disabilities can live rich and productive lives doing what they love to do.

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NEF Brings Month-Long Chinese Cultural Celebration to Broadmeadow School

Needham, MA. January 4, 2011. Needham. Close to 400 Broadmeadow elementary school will participate in a Chinese Cultural celebration lead by award-winning teacher and professional dancer, Chiao Bin Huang of Carlisle. The dynamic program for kindergarteners up to third graders enriches social studies, geography and physical education through a series of workshops in January. It culminates on February 2 with a hands-on, student-performed Chinese New Year performance.

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