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News & Events


Rise & Read-- December 2017

December 18, 2017

Hurricanes Irma & Maria caused extensive damage of epic proportions in much of Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It will be a long road of recovery for many families. But there are ways to restore hope to children.


The road to a child's emotional recovery after a traumatic event, starts with routines. A storybook for bedtime, a new pair of pajamas, toothbrush/toothpaste, a journal to record thoughts or a new coloring book and crayons as an avenue of self-expression. These activities seem basic until you don't have them.

The Bel Esprit Cultural Institute united with teachers on the ground in Puerto Rico to restore a sense of normalcy for the children and to keep them busy while the adults focus on rebuilding.

Happiness is...

A surprise visit by the Bel Esprit Cultural Institute to Loiza, Puerto Rico on the Monday before Christmas 2017, months after Hurricanes Irma & Maria ravaged the island.

400 boys and girls stood in line waiting to see who was coming to visit them for the day. In their bags were story/chapter/picture books, new pajamas, stuffed animals, games, journals, anti-stress coloring books and so much more! 

The children were as young as four and as old as 12. No one left empty-handed!
Donations came from students and families from: The Calhoun School and Uncommon Schools (Excellence Girls). Words can not express our gratitude for your prayers, donations and messages of encouragement. 

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