This Impact100 Oakland County grant update comes from 2022 grantee the Ennis Center for Children, Inc., a foster care and adoption agency headquartered in Pontiac, Michigan.
The Ennis Center’s project, Fostering Creativity, is a therapeutic arts program for children
between ages 6-19 who suffer from trauma to help them learn, grow, and heal, all while having fun in a safe, therapeutic environment. Since January 2023, participants have been able to attend this weekly program for free and receive complimentary transportation to and from the program and a community meal during the session.
The Fostering Creativity program offered four different eight-week creative arts series to teach children how to express themselves through art, dance, music, and theater. The first program was Tapology: A Dance and Movement Group, followed by Theatre for Life, Bangtown: Studio-on-the-Go, and finally, Art Therapy and Lego Building.
“Receiving this grant has afforded our organization the means to continue to offer this
therapeutic creative arts program to all the Oakland County youth that are currently involved in foster care and have a relationship with our organization,” the Ennis Center said. “When a young person is taught to express their thoughts and feelings in healthy and appropriate ways and is given the tools to heal, learn, and interact with others, the whole family heals and grows.”
Despite some canceled sessions due to snow days and bad driving conditions, many youth
participants have begun to discover their hidden talents, such as an eight-year-old’s tap dancing gift, which she uses to “tap out” all her feelings, happy and sad.
“Since the program’s inception, Fostering Creativity has served well over 302 very deserving children. We feel strongly that the program is fully ready to expand again,” the organization said. “With the financial assistance of the Impact100 initiative we hope to grow the capacity of our Pontiac Fostering Creativity in Oakland County to reach at least 40 children each year.”
Fostering Creativity has funds to continue until at least the end of 2025 and will continue
encouraging youth from other foster care agencies to participate in this unique program so that more Pontiac youth can have healthier, brighter futures.