Committed to Creativity, Kindness, & Connection
The Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation focuses specifically on providing access to ongoing performing arts lessons for children with low socio-economic status (SES).
Our creativity pillar provides children ages 7-18 with 100% funded to take ongoing lessons in dance, acting, vocal performance, or instrumental music at a performing arts studio near their home for an entire school year or summer program. The Foundation provides tuition for one class per student per year, and students are eligible to remain in the program as long as their financial circumstances persist. To provide not only access, but also true inclusion, the Foundation also provides necessary supplies including dance shoes and costumes, instruments, etc.
Our Kindness pillar is the community service arm of the organization. The AOK Performance Group is an audition only group that consists of children and young adults ages 7-22 who share their talent at community and fundraising events.
For those children who are unable to travel to their ongoing funded lessons, we provide instructors to go into existing community organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs. That was created through the connection pillar of the foundation.
While there are numerous studies the demonstrate the positive benefits of arts education for all children, a National Endowment for the Arts study reveals that arts education has the greatest impact on children who fall into this category. It has been demonstrated that “children from low SES backgrounds have better long-term academic, occupational and social outcomes when they have a history of involvement in the arts.”