Helping Children of Artsakh through our own Kindergarten Teacher, Dzia Vartabedian:
Our Kindergarten teacher Or. Dzia spent her holiday season in Armenia and Artsakh. Her main motivation was to assist families who were displaced due to the war. Working alongside Project Save and Hidden Road Initiative, she was able to go to various shelters in Armenia. With a group of like-minded volunteers, she spent 3 hours a day with 4–16-year-old students, doing STEM projects, arts and crafts activities, yoga and sports, and music and dance. The students also reviewed core subjects such as Armenian language and history, and math and foreign languages. They were also able to organize Christmas parties for the different shelters with visits from Santa Claus who was able to pass out presents, backpacks, and treat bags.
Through Hamazkayin Artsakh she also had the opportunity to visit after-school centers in Yerevan and Artsakh. An exhibition was organized where students’ drawings and clay ornaments were on display along with a small theatrical performance in Yerevan. Santa came at the conclusion and passed out presents to all the kids. At the Hamazkayin center in Stepanakert, students also received presents and treat bags that included clothing, school supplies, masks and activity kits.
In addition, through the generous donations from the First Steps students and teachers, they prepared over 50 holiday food packages, which were passed out to needy families in Artsakh. Throughout her stay, she was also able to personally pass out financial assistance to over 60 displaced families, wounded soldiers, and families of martyrs.
Total Funds Raised = $12,000
We want to extend our gratitude to all our parents, grandparents, staff and volunteers for making our November Fundraiser another successful event. As you all know, our PSC organized 2 wonderful events for this month. In addition, our Kindergarten students participated in a clothing drive
Clothing Drive – Kindergarten students and families played an important part in purchasing, bagging, and sending 2 suitcases of warm clothes and necessities to Armenia to be distributed to displaced students through the Hidden Road Initiative. Total Funds Raised = Priceless
Pie Sale- Thanksgiving pie sale was a well-coordinated and organized event. Thank you to all the parents who ordered pies and supported this fundraiser. House of pies was generous enough to give us the pies at a discounted price. November Funds raised at the amount of $3,334 were donated to Armenian Wounded Heroes Fund.
Helping Children of Artsakh through FCN:
Christmas Letters – The Christmas letters to the children of Artsakh became a beautiful project involving all the students from the toddler and preschool programs. Every student used their little hands to draw, paint, or write a message to cheer up a little one on the other side of the globe. With the generous donations of many First Steps and extended families, we were able to send out 172 letters with $10 in each one. The children in Armenia will be receiving their special letter with a well needed monetary surprise for New Years! All Funds raised $1,720 were donated to Focus on Children Now (FCN).
Helping Children of Artsakh through FCN:
With the help of all of our First Steps Parents and staff the October Fundraiser has raised a Grand Total of $11,308 thus far. This total was donated to Focus on Children Now (FCN) and will specifically be allocated to help the children displaced by the war. Please see attached acknowledgement from FCN.
Helping our Local Businesses During the Pandemic:
We feel that this is the time for us to pull together and support our local businesses, as they are also being impacted by the pandemic restrictions.
We would like to share with you the digital version of our school adbook for the first time. A special thank you to our 2019 PSC for their enthusiasm and effort in addition to all our current and alumni parents whose collective participation made this project possible.
We are sharing this information with you to help Christopher and his family reach their goal of raising $25,000 for CHLA. This donation is completely voluntary; if you’re interested in donating please visit Christopher‘s donation page.