Project Avary cultivates a community of support for children whose parents are imprisoned or otherwise involved with the criminal justice system. Children from age 8.5 through their teen years can participate in summer camp in Mendocino, Adventure Day outings to natural and cultural sites in the Bay Area, leadership retreats, and a mentoring program.
Project Avary was founded by former Grateful Dead manager Danny Rifkin, who was inspired by a conversation he had with San Quentin's chaplain Earl Smith. Project Avary aims to break the cycles of violence and incarceration by supporting children to appreciate their own gifts and to develop the skills to engage peacefully and constructively in community and in society.
that they won and there is a nice new van in their future!
Long story short...if you're on Facebook, you can really help these folks today. Toyota is giving away a vehicle a day to worthy nonprofits, and if Project Avary can get enough votes today they can get a van. This would be a real boon, because currently they have to rent vans every time they take the kids on a field trip, and this really limits what they can do.
If you'd like to help out by voting today, follow this link. Thanks!
projectAVARY invites you to our 10th Anniversary Celebration
An Evening Under the Stars
Reception, Silent Auction, and Special Guests
On stage conversation with KQED’s Michael Krasny & noted author Isabel Allende
and Very Special Private Concert Featuring Moonalice with Bob Weir & Mark Karan
Great American Music Hall 859 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 6:30 pm
Folks, I've been a fan of Avary for a long time, from a distance, so I was really tickled by the chance to do a story on them for the Rex Foundation's Web site. Check it out here...
thanks for telling us!
MENTORING MATCH IS MUSIC TO OUR EARS
One of the great things about the Avary community is the chance to see synergy happen; to witness connections made between campers, families and staff arise in surprising ways. A great example of this phenomenon occurred at our 2005 Camp Reunion and Holiday Party.
Pete Sears, a longtime friend of Danny Rifkin and father of one of our counselors, offered to play the piano for our party. We felt very lucky to have the donated time of a professional musician, providing ambiance for the event. When Pete arrived, he happily began playing what seemed to him to be background music for the Avary families, staff, and supporters in attendance.
While the rest of the children waited for a Bingo game to start, Xavier took an interest in what Pete was doing, and asked if he could play too. It wasn't long before the pair was jamming together, with Pete establishing a structured baseline to support the boy's improvisational spirit. They quickly gained the attention of the whole room.
Most surprising, the young man - just 9 years old - had never had piano lessons. The pair formed an instant musical friendship and Pete soon approached Avary with a request: could he help Xavier develop this talent?
In 2006, we were able to purchase a used piano for Xavier and match him with Pete as a mentor. Unlike other mentor matches, where meetings are a chance to get out, Pete and Xavier spend most of their time in Xavier¹s home in front of the small upright piano, that sits at the base of the stairs. Sometimes they just improv jazzy riffs, but often they work at whole songs.
Recently, Xavier played "Amazing Grace" for his church and received a standing ovation. His grandma says it's amazing how he's excelling at the piano. We think the difference a caring adult can make is amazing.
For more information about mentoring a child in our program, please call the Avary Office at 415-460-1184 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2001, I learned about Project Avary at the Rex Foundation site and wrote an email to Danny Rifkin asking how I could get involved. Since then I have worked in the office, been a camp counselor, and written grant proposals for the Project. Since 2004, I've been a board member. I'll be posting news and photos here from time to time.
We got some nice press coverage this week in the Marin Independent Journal. You can read the article online at http://www.marinij.com/marin/ci_6222384.
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to get involved directly with programs, please send me a private message!
I went to a Quaker school in Gualala 1964-66, just around 30 miles south of the Project Avary camp at the Navaro River (then I lived just around 10 miles nother of the Navaro in Mendocino CA as a teen), and from what I read at the Avary web site, combined with what I know about the Redwoods and the Sea, these kids are getting thre greatist. I wrote a web page on my experiences in 1964-66 at http://www.archure.net/psychology/thefarm.html
I contibute to UNICEF (helps world kids thru the UN), and I am a member of PETA.
I sure do miss Mendocino, the Navaro, friends out Albion Ridge Rd (tblmt, past the bee tree), Little River the Headlands, Bowling Ball Beach, Iversons Landing, etc. But thats great, turning what would be a terrible thing for a kid, into a positive good thing.
Music for the New Millennium by ARCHURE reg tmrk www.archure.net