The EAK Projects
The Hance Family Foundation is dedicated to providing innovative educational programs for children of all ages and abilities–as a way to honor Emma, Alyson, & Katie Hance. We proudly present The EAK Projects: three very successful & original educational programs, created and implemented by The Hance Family Foundation to help enhance and develop the confidence and self-esteem of all children. There is no fee associated with these programs, they are funded completely by the Hance Family Foundation.
Heart Hands Hope
In an effort to aid struggling families in these tough economic times, The Hance Family Foundation works with schools to supply their children with the tools needed for a successful school year. We also support local schools and children’s organizations, and host an annual holiday toy drive to aid families in Hempstead, Floral Park, Far Rockaway, Elmont, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan/Harlem.
Grow With Me
A child who tends a garden learns responsibility and patience, and grows in self esteem through feelings of accomplishment and empowerment right alongside their garden. If this garden becomes part of a larger community…then so does the child.
Grow With Me community gardening program beginning with clean up and planting, culminating in educational programs and a picnic. With programs based entirely on the NYS fifth grade standards, the day teaches ecology, classification, environment and more. It builds children’s self-esteem by allowing them to see what they are capable of and fosters a sense of community as students work together toward a common goal: the betterment of their community. An impressive 1200 students have planted Gardens and learned about community and self empowerment since 2010.
The primary goal of Grow with Me is to improve self esteem through education, gardening, and a strengthened sense of community. We will introduce 5th graders in Floral Park to the wonders of nature while rotating through a garden environment. Visiting instructors have been recruited because of their dedication to educating in accordance to the New York State Common Core and National Science Performance Standards. These instructors tie in the science curriculum while using the garden as the valuable resource it is. This October, workshops conducted by the Volunteers for Wildlife, The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, The Queens Botanical Garden,and Andre’ Rolound, as well as Conservation staff and volunteers, will introduce children to plants and animals, trees, bees and much more. Focus will be on structures and functions in living systems, reproduction and life cycles of plants, diversity and adaptations of organisms, interdependence of organisms and the partnerships of their parts. Areas of content reinforced include distinguishing between natural objects and objects made by humans, properties of earth materials, changes in the earth and its energy and its environments. Grow with Me also includes a clean-up and instruction on how to and what to plant in certain areas of a garden.
On an educational level, programs are chosen based on the NYS 5th grade science standards. They will teach children about environment, animals, and the food chain, as well as ecology, “going green”, and how important it is to care for our Earth.
On a social level, as children all work together, their sense of community will grow. Children who learn and participate in the Gardens will begin to feel sense of ownership and pride in the Gardens. And possibly, children who grow up appreciating this haven the Conservation Society has created are more likely to cherish it and to become involved in both these Gardens and in other worthwhile programs in our small community and beyond. This is a useful tool in an election year to highlight students’ role as caretakers of their future.
We are planting a seed, and as it grows, Floral Park’s youth will benefit from an ongoing celebration of nature, growth, and children, as a lasting tribute to Emma, Alyson and Katie.