Anderson Children's Foundation

After-School Arts Literacy (2019-2020, 2014-2015)

Tools for Tomorrow (TFT) is a free, on-site, after-school integrated arts literacy program for elementary school children in grades 3-5 that provides the students with “hands on” opportunities in creative writing, art, music and drama. All units of instruction are standards-based. The art unit teaches the elements of drawing, painting and sculpture, the music unit teaches about the elements of the orchestra with the composer being a musician/artist/storyteller and the drama and writing unit lets students create a short play and dialogue. Poetry and creative writing are also taught as storytelling. TFT operates 17 programs in 15 Coachella Valley Title 1 schools. In many of these schools the student population is as much as 80% at or below poverty level. TFT’s students are predominantly Hispanic, and a large percentage speaks English as a second language.

Each TFT “program” consists of two semesters, each semester accommodating 25 students and meeting once a week for an hour-and-a-half over a period of fifteen weeks. The classes are held in classrooms provided by the schools, with Tools for Tomorrow providing the curriculum, qualified instructors and necessary art supplies and equipment.

Over its fifteen-year history, TFT has served more than 15,000 children, at its peak hosting 27 programs in 16 schools stretching from Desert Hot Springs to Mecca. The 2008 recession forced Tools for Tomorrow to curtail some of its offerings, and today 13 programs in 13 schools are active. TFT’s goal is to restore its furloughed programs, where as many as 200 children remain on waiting lists at each location, and to initiate programs in additional schools where it is felt students can benefit.

Theatre Troupe (2017-2018)

Tools For Tomorrow (TFT) provides free, on-site, after-school arts literacy programs for elementary school children in grades 3-5. It operates in 17 different school locations stretching from Desert Hot Springs to Mecca and has served over 17,000 children. Tools for Tomorrow uses professionally designed, child-friendly, and themed lessons to introduce students to the disciplines of music, creative writing, visual art, and drama. The children are exposed to the work of the "master," are taught the fundamentals of each art discipline, and are enabled to explore their own innate creative abilities through "hands-on" art projects and experiences.

The TFT Theatre Troupe program will provide students with an opportunity to design, a student-produced, student-presented complete theatrical production from designing sets and costumes to singing and performing in the play for hundreds of students and families. The class will be conducted at Rancho Mirage Elementary School and utilize a Tools for Tomorrow-trained teacher with extensive experience in teaching theatre arts all over California to both adults and children.

The TFT Theatre Troupe program is designed to develop and enhance the following skill sets: self-esteem, self-confidence, the ability to express oneself through theatre, critical thinking, reading with expression, collaboration, cooperation, improvisation, public speaking in front of a large audience, teamwork, responsibility, poise and presentation, importance of hard work, pacing oneself, making mistakes in a safe setting, sense of accomplishment, creativity, social maturity and memorization.

Music Enrichment (2016-2017)

Tools For Tomorrow (TFT) provides free, on-site, after-school arts literacy programs for elementary school children in grades 3-5. It operates in 15 different school locations stretching from Desert Hot Springs to Mecca and has served over 16,000 children. Tools for Tomorrow uses professionally designed, child-friendly, and themed lessons to introduce students to the disciplines of music, creative writing, visual art, and drama. The children are exposed to the work of the "master," are taught the fundamentals of each art discipline, and are enabled to explore their own innate creative abilities through "hands-on" art projects.

In the Music Enrichment Program, TFT will focus on giving children a rich musical education. Last year, as part of its program for children with special needs, Tools for Tomorrow purchased musical instruments to provide these children with more tactitle learning opportunities. The addition of instruments helped these children form bands, write, rehearse, and perform. This year, Tools for Tomorrow will purchase basic musical instruments for its remaining fourteen programs, thus enriching the TFT offering for all children.

Special Needs Children Pilot Program (2015-2016)

The children of Desert Hot Springs are among the “neediest” in the Coachella Valley. The student population is 88% at or below poverty level, 87% Hispanic and 50% English Learners. This grant will enable Tools For Tomorrow to implement a program for children with “special needs” by augmenting TFT staff with appropriately trained personnel, and purchasing musical instruments and supplies appropriate for these children. By working closely with Dr. Marlatt, the principal at Bubbling Wells Elementary School, TFT will be able to select students documented with special needs. These children will experience the Tools For Tomorrow integrated arts literacy program that promotes:

  1. Critical thinking skills needed to succeed in the regular classroom
  2. Necessary tools to create a brighter tomorrow for themselves, and
  3. A vision of what their future can become.