15:19 PM

Area Students Participate in Creative Projects with UHD for Citizenship Month

As part of UHD's continued sponsorship of Houston Citizenship Month, the UHD Center for Public Service and Family Strengths (CPSFS) recently partnered with area children to create works of visual and literary art in two memorable projects.

Each year, students at UHD volunteer their time at the House of Tiny Treasures (HTT), an early childhood education program for homeless youths, to help celebrate the season with a Fall Festival. This year, with the support of CPSFS, the children and their families were treated to a lesson on Ebru or water marbling. The instruction was provided by Nazli Cizmeci from the Raindrop Turkish House.

The HTT students and their families greatly enjoyed the experience and were able to create their own masterpieces, which now hang in the children's section of the Houston Public Library (HPL) as part of an exhibit for Houston Citizenship Month.

UHD has a long standing relationship with HTT, which embraces a philosophy of learning that encourages development through exploration, including art.

CPSFS would like to thank Mitzi Bartlett from HTT, as well as the Raindrop Turkish House, Nazli Cizmeci and the UHD student volunteers for making this project a great success.

Middle school students from three area schools also demonstrated their creativity by writing poems for Citizenship Month.

Students from Fondren Middle School, Las Americas, HISD and Harmony Schools were invited to write poems that described their cross-cultural identities. Curriculum for the students was created by Professor Leigh Van Horn and students from her class were asked to read through the poems. Shirin Herman from HISD and Julie Norton from Harmony Schools were instrumental in organizing this collaboration.

Winners were selected to receive Young Adult Literacy Awards presented by former First Lady of Houston Andrea White and were read during the official kick-off of Citizenship Month. The pieces are part of the same Citizenship Month exhibit at HPL.

Dr. Noel Bezette-Flores, executive director for the UHD Center for Public Service and Family Strengths, is co-chair for Houston Citizenship Month.

Poem excerpts:
A citizen there, a citizen here, a citizen then, a citizen now
There, I worked but here, I stay at home
There, I wished for some food but here, I wish for more time in school
Then, I hoped to learn, and now I hope to learn English
There and then I was Mexican, but here and now I am Mexican-American
There, I went outside to get the water but here, I go to my water cooler
Then, I ate rice and vegetables and now, I eat rice and vegetables
There, I wished to play with my friends in America but here, I wish to study to be an engineer.
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