Being a good neighbor means more than ever before

The Wade Neighborhood

Nurture Bluefield's children, youth & families spiritually, physically, emotionally and intellectual.

The children we serve come from poor families that rely on social services for food, shelter, clothing and medical care. The Wade Center gives 50 elementary school students help with homework, healthy snacks and meals. We provide a safe space to learn and grow and are committed to doing more: to respect each child as an individual and encourage them to express their view of the world through classes in art, music and theatre not offered at school. In our proposed production, professional artists will draw out the children’s stories and show how to depict them in various forms, including an image for their unique T-shirt costume. The students will gain a sense of dignity and self-worth, art skills and teamwork experience. In the final product, a video entitled, The Wade Neighborhood, each will tell a story, perform a song or express “This is me” in his or her own way. Each child’s need to be seen and appreciated will be met while working together on a large project with others.

The gift would allow the Wade Center to provide its students professional quality experiences in art and self-expression. These are not top priorities when assisting families in need, yet they form the core of fully rounded young people. We receive many donations for food, school supplies and clothing, for which we are extremely grateful. Going beyond basics by engaging elementary school children in creative activities encourages their individuality; the involvement of professional artists and tools demonstrates respect for these children that they rarely receive. Production of The Wade Neighborhood also will enable us to upgrade our stage and promotional materials. The budget:
Costumes (50 T shirts with individual silk screens, 20 standard ones for volunteers) $5000
Video services ($100/half hr) $5000
Fire-retardant stage curtains (req by fire code) $6000
Creative Director $1000
Video Director $1000
Stage Manager $500
Lighting & Sound Technicians ($200/hr) $2000
Promotion $500

Children who feel respected and heard have a better opportunity for positive emotional development that will impact their lives and their families than those who feel overlooked, unimportant and “less than.” Participating in a project that showcases them and their classmates also can build self-esteem, and the collaborative production will demonstrate teamwork to them in a meaningful way. Elementary school years are a critical time to reach children and instill values and practices; we envision the projects and relationships our students experience in making The Wade Neighborhood will incline them to be good neighbors. Bluefield’s residents and businesses will benefit from a better understanding of the Wade Center’s role in the community by viewing the video. We anticipate that will result in greater support for the Center and the families we serve, allowing us to provide a stable, caring environment for many years to come.