What originally began as a passing thought in the mind of ACES dance teacher Sally Perez, turned into a beautiful and memorable day of giving for a wonderful group of young women. On November 17, 2017 Aventura City of Excellence School (ACES) held the first ever “Big Sisters of the Arts” dance donation event. Created by Sally Perez the vision and mission of “Big Sisters of the Arts” is to make a real-life connection between ACES dance students and other dance students throughout our community. The goal is not just to donate but to make a real connection and bond with other students who share a love of dance. ACES dance students were asked to donate new and gently used costumes in order to pass them on to “little sisters”. For several months Ms. Perez collected beautiful pieces from generous ACES students, while simultaneously looking for the perfect group to partner with. After a phone call with Brittany Kernohan, Director of Selah Academy in Hollywood, Fl. Ms. Perez knew she had found the perfect group to donate to and collaborate with. Mrs. Kernohan is the creator of Selah’s Song a program where “no student is ever turned away due to inability to pay”.
On November 17, 2017, Ms. Kernohan and some of her students travelled to ACES and were greeted by Ms. Perez and several ACES dance students in the Aventura Art and Cultural Center. The guests of honor were treated to a unique shopping experience, as they moved from table to table picking out costumes and dancewear that were donated by ACES students. As they arrived at each table, they were greeted by ACES students both eager to help them shop and eager to tell the story of the costume pieces being selected. Thanks to the generosity of many ACES students, over one hundred costume pieces were collected and displayed beautifully in the lobby of the AACC. “The look of joy on their faces as they entered was priceless. The excitement and appreciation was so genuine that it touched my heart. It made my day, to be a part of such a wonderful experience” said, Ms. Perez. After the donations were received , the students gathered around a table to enjoy treats and conversation with the special guests. “It is so neat to see how a common love of dance can make you an instant friend” said Ms. Kernohan as she watched her dance students become fast friends with the ACES dance students. Afterwards the students were invited into the theater of the AACC where they were allowed to create a short dance piece together with their new found “Sisters of the Arts”. “It was a dream come true. I had this vision in my mind of making a real connection with another group of dancers, of having an opportunity to give back. Watching the girls work together and watching the afternoon play out the way it did was simply spectacular.” said Ms. Perez. “What the girls created in such a short amount of time was simply awesome” praised ACES Assistant Principal Jorge Paz. As the students were exiting the theater, smiles and hugs were exchanged and hearts were full. What began simply as an idea had manifested into the perfect day of giving and sharing with a wonderful group of students. “It was everything I hoped it would be and more” said Ms. Perez.
To learn more about Aventura City of Excellence School , go to www.aventuracharter.org . The School is located at 3333 NE 188th Street, Aventura, FL 33180, Phone: 305-466-1499.