We are Aurora Charter School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We proudly serve a population of students representing the following demographics- 99% Hispanic, 89% free and reduced-price lunch, and 95% English Learners. 20 Years ago, Aurora Charter School was created in an effort to improve the educational environment and experience for Latino students living in Minneapolis.
The recent rioting and unrest has left many of our students feeling afraid, confused, and unsafe. Many who have immigrated to Minneapolis are reminded of the violence and inequities they escaped when immigrating to this country, bringing back difficult memories.
There are a significant number of students who live within a few blocks of Lake St. in South Minneapolis. The Lake St. area is where a considerable amount of damage was caused by riots following the tragic death of George Floyd while he was in custody of the Minneapolis Police. This widespread destruction took place in the neighborhoods our families call home.
We stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends, and all who have been affected by his senseless death. We hope for swift justice for George, his family, and the community as that will be key in the community healing process. COVID-19 had already left students and families burdened by the social, emotional, and economic stresses resulting from the impact of the pandemic.
As a school, we initially struggled with delivering distance learning but, as a group, our staff worked diligently to give students a high-quality education at a distance. We do not have computers for each student, so families had to share devices, making schoolwork cumbersome for families already stressed.
The funds raised from this Go Fund Me will be used to provide after-school art therapy designed to allow students to process their experiences and help them move forward from these tragedies. The end result will be pieces of art on display that validate and chronicle students' experiences. If there would be funds in addition to the cost of the therapy would be used to achieve an electronic device for each student as distance learning looks probable in the near future.
Community artists involved in this project:
Adler Graduate School-Art Therapy Department
(more will be added as they commit)
“Art expression is a powerful way to safely contain and create separation from the terrifying experience of trauma,” writes board-certified art therapist Gretchen Miller for the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children. “Art safely gives voice to and makes a survivor’s experience of emotions, thoughts, and memories visible when words are insufficient.”