FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – A local artist with a commitment to the class room hopes his art will give his students a voice.

“This project is called “Let Me Build A Home Of My Own”, I’m trying to help people build homes and families,” Steven Sylvester explained to the dozen or so students sitting in the classroom of the Sunset School in Broward County where he volunteers.

Sylvester starts to break the ice with students, most of whom live in foster care, by engaging them in conversation, “So your friend aged out and he’s telling you there isn’t a lot of support.”

”There’s not,” the students answered, almost in unison.

Sylvester is a sculptor by trade and uses clay art projects to help the students at places like Sunset School learn life skills. Sylvester said it gives them a chance to talk about the tough subjects affecting their lives.

“This particular school has the highest percentage of foster care kids in the district,” said Sunset School Principal Don Cottrell. “Our kids have many obstacles to overcome in life.”

Aside from having the highest number of students in Broward living in foster care, all of the students at Sunset School have special needs.

“We have students that range from age kindergarten to adult, 22,” said Cottrell.

The school provides a great opportunity for local folks with a gift to share, like Sylvester, to connect with students and its business supporters like BankAtlantic.

“Bank Atlantic is a huge supporter of the arts as well as the foster care system, so together its makes a great marriage,” said Lois Marino with BankAtlantic Foundation.

Click Here to find out how you can become a volunteer for Sunset School.

For more on BankAtlantic’s support of the local arts programs in education program, check out the BankAtlantic Foundation.

Comments (2)
  1. Fellow Volunteer says:

    Volunteers and mentoring of all students are important but what a major accomplishment to link both for the students at Sunset School. This opportunity allows them to create, communicate and see they are capable of overcoming any obstacle with their own hands. Kudos to Mr. Cottrell, the staff at Sunset School and the volunteers for incorporating this unique approach.

    1. Neighbors 4 Neighbors says:

      We here at Neighbors 4 Neighbors appreciate your enthusiasm and agree! Please let us know if you’re interested in other volunteer opportunities with Sunset School or the SmARTS program. You can call us at 305-597-4404 for more information.

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