About Haven Kids Rock
Our Mission and Outcomes
“We have had children enter our program afraid to speak or smile due to physical or emotional trauma and by the end of the semester they are performing solos on stage. Music is healing, it’s invigorating and the children are learning to support and work with one another in a positive, safe environment.”
-Nef Jones, Founder of Haven Kids Rock
Haven Kids Rock was created on the belief that by exposing disadvantaged students to opportunities beyond the limitations of their often-impoverished communities, and simultaneously helping them develop technical skills, they can learn to dream beyond the limited scope of their neighborhood.
The weekly music program serves at-risk kids in the New York City foster care and child welfare systems. The program resides within Mott Haven Academy Charter School in the South Bronx, and shares a close partnership with the New York Foundling, one of the city’s largest and most respected social service agencies.
Participation in Haven Kids Rock Music Program presents a unique opportunity for Haven Academy scholars. The students who participate do not typically have regular access to enrichment opportunities outside of the school environment. As an extension of the school day, Haven Kids Rock provides a therapeutic outlet by giving scholars a chance for self-expression through music.
Haven Kids Rock focuses on teaching children performance technique, guitar, voice and songwriting. The curriculum is designed to first connect to the scholars with popular music that t already excites them, then broaden their view by introducing other genres of music such as: Standards, Classical Arias, and Broadway show tunes. Through performances and presentations, scholars have an opportunity to further gain self-confidence and feelings of self-worth by sharing the skills they have developed in the program with peers and family members.
The positive impact on the overall academic well being of the group participants since the program’s inception in 2008 is evidenced by the following outcomes: (these numbers are based on 2017-18 school year data)
77% of Haven Kids Rock participants showed an improvement this year in attendance, compared to the prior year
92% of participants are on OR approaching grade level for math (compared to 83% for their peers)
85% of participants are on OR approaching grade level for ELA (compared to 72% for their peers)
The children collectively have made $146,463.56 in commercials appearances. (Many of them have put the money away towards college)
Founded by musician/casting director Nefertiti Jones, and rock guitarist Jimi K Bones, the program has been successful in connecting participants with a host of opportunities outside of the South Bronx. The children have been featured on the Today Show with Kathie and Hoda, NY1, WCBS as well as in the Daily News, and Town and Country Magazine, among others. They have been sponsored to perform at events around New York, including the Palace Theater with the Broadway musical Annie, and at venues such as the Yale Club, Bitter End and Crash Mansion. Twenty-one of the scholars were selected to sing “Thank You For Being a Friend” in a New York Lottery Commercial, and individual Haven Rock kids have been chosen to make appearances in mainstream media projects such as: the Dove Movement for Self Esteem, a project for the Rockefeller Campaign for the Empowerment of Girls and the Phillips “Simply Go Breathless Choir” campaign.
As Haven Kids Rock enters its eleventh operating year, we are seeking partners for ongoing support of the program. To donate please visit us at:
Haven Kids Rock is a part of Mott Haven Academy Charter School. Mott Haven Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Donations made to Haven Kids Rock via Mott Haven Academy will be used for the Haven Kids Rock program.