Stephens College Children's School
The Power of Collaboration
English honor society, film student team up to benefit children
A new public service announcement airing on Columbia Access Television aims to raise money for an orphanage in Uganda—but it also shows the power of collaboration at Stephens College.The two-minute video was the brainchild of Senior Taylor Grant '13, a member of the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta. For the past several years, the society has partnered with a Columbia-based not-for-profit organization, Vessels International, founded by Stephens’ alumna Renee Reed-Miller '03. Grace House, the orphanage, is a recipient of VI’s charitable outreach.
Sigma Tau Delta has helped students at Stephens College Children’s School become pen pals with the children who live in the orphanage. Last year, they wrote letters and sent crafts a few times during the school year.
“It teaches SCCS students about Uganda and what the kids’ lives are like there,” SCCS teacher Lindsey Clifton '07, '08 said.
Grant, who is studying creative writing, wanted to make the communication process easier by raising money for computers and Internet access at Grace House.
“The idea is kids everywhere have hopes and ambitions and things they want to do and be, but you don’t have opportunities until you’re connected to the outside world,” Grant said. Last semester, members of Sigma Tau Delta wrote the message for the PSA, and Grant tapped a film student, Erika Adair '12, to shoot the footage.
The PSA features three SCCS children who make a convincing case for contributions. “Six kids live there,” a girl tells viewers about Grace House. “Six dreams live there.” Having real-time communication would be beneficial not only for the children at Grace House, but also for local children who attend the Children’s School, Clifton said. “They could have interaction more often,” she said.
But she also stressed that the Columbia children have also benefited from just watching the Stephens students work together for a greater cause. “They get so excited when they see the women come in, sit down with them and collaborate,” Clifton said. “The women have the same goals as our children here, and we’re using all of our resources and working together.”