Hanna loves to play clarinet. Looking at this energetic, healthy 11-year-old girl practicing with her orchestra at Bat Yam After-School Center, it’s hard to imagine the shy, underweight girl who arrived at the Centre three years ago.
Hanna is one of six siblings. Since her parents made Aliyah from the Ukraine in the late 1990s, her father has worked as a taxi driver, her mother as a cleaner. Hanna’s parents love their children, but there was never really enough food to go around.
Hanna didn’t thrive in her first few years of primary school. She was tired and irritable, always struggling to focus on her work. But a month or so after joining Bat Yam After-School Center, her counselors noticed a change. She began to look healthier and happier as she was given daily Hot Meals. Her concentration allowed her to focus on her love for music. Without Hot Meals, Hanna would still be an underweight, underachieving student; three years of nutritious lunches later, she is a flourishing young musician, sharing her music with her community.
ABOUT THE MUSICAL MINDS PROGRAM
This program introduces students to the arts. It encourages children aged three through 12 to immerse themselves twice a week in one of a wide range of arts subjects. They can learn to play instruments. There is also vocal training on offer. Other choices include: drawing; sculpture; and photography. Instruction is by highly-trained professionals, classes are small and each child receives individualized attention.
*Names and photos have been changed to protect individual’s privacy.