“We’ll build a better world—for all the little boys and girls,” sang Emme Aviles and her friends, elementary school students in The Child Center’s summer program at PS 273.
The students composed the song as part of an Africa-focused curriculum and fundraiser. They studied leadership, culture, and family relationships in six African countries, and raised money to help build a school in a South African village.
At the joyful final performance, students chanted, danced, and sang, to cheers from parents and friends. “There are no words to express the dedication, support and sincere caring of this program and staff,” wrote one parent in a thank-you note, remarking on the profound change in her son over the summer.
In addition to finding new friends and mentors, the kids forged a real connection to a place halfway around the world. “To know that they were helping others—that was really important to them,” said Saher Mahmood, the program’s director.