Dance performance to benefit ‘Our Military Kids’

Our Military Kids logo“Please don’t send cookies, care packages or socks,” a U.S. service member once said. “Just take care of our children.”

Our Military Kids works every day to fulfill this plea.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to provide support and recognition to military children, Our Military Kids provides grants to keep military children engaged in activities of their choosing, helping to relieve the stress of separation from a parent by providing a positive distraction, minimizing emotional destabilization, building self-esteem and enabling academic achievement.

NIU and the Sycamore/Rochelle Performing Arts Academy will host an “Our Military Kids” Benefit Dance Performance at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, in the Duke Ellington Ballroom of the Holmes Student Center. Donation is $10 for adults and $5 for NIU students.

“We feel that any opportunity to extend support to our military members’ spouses and children is intrinsically connected to the service member’s support and well-being, said Jarvis Purnell, director of Military Student Services. “The work that the Performing Arts Academy is doing with this initiative is important because it allows children to nurture their unique talents and abilities through ‘Our Military Kids’ grants. We hope to see our ‘communiversity’ support this event.”

Performing Arts Academy logoJodi Riley, who earned a BFA in dance performance from the School of Theatre and Dance in the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts, said she is excited to get involved in this event.

“As an NIU alum, I am very pleased with the collaboration we are starting between Performing Arts Academy and NIU Military Student Services, and look forward to having this event become an annual signature program,” Riley said.

“My children have both benefited greatly from Our Military Kids while my husband was serving in Afghanistan. It is a wonderful way to recognize the children and family members that are left at home to deal with everyday life,” she added. “The Benefit Dance Performance is a fun way I give back to the Our Military Kids program.”

“We have a student in our Rochelle studio whose father is serving overseas who recently received a grant for her dance lessons,” added Christa McGrath, operations manager and co-owner of Performing Arts Academy. “Our Military Kids is a great way to honor the children of our Service men and women who have to cope with being away from a parent.”

For more information, call (815) 899-1307 or email rochelle@sycamoreballet.com.

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