APEC stands for Assisting Families, Preparing Children, Establish Relationships and Caring Enough. They are a chain of afterschool care programs in Atlanta, Georgia. In the documentary below, we showcase the extensive work done through APEC’s aftercare program in 13 locations and counting.
These programs have seamlessly integrated the principles of love, peace, and harmony into their corporate philosophy, profoundly impacting the communities they serve. The initiative at APEC focuses on nurturing children in a loving and productive environment, preparing them for success, and promoting love, respect, and trust among families, schools, and staff. Their commitment to excellence is reinforced by modeling positive behavior daily, demonstrating a deep care for the communities they serve.
APEC collectively serves 855 children and connects with nearly 100 dedicated staff members. One of the most powerful aspects of this initiative lies in its ability to reshape the trajectory commonly known as the “preschool to prison pipeline.” In many neighborhoods, children come from low-income households, grappling with challenges like malnourishment and domestic conflicts.
According to a 2018 study by the Georgia Department of Education, in Atlanta, young children were found to be disproportionately affected by harsh disciplinary actions in schools. As they step into the classroom, some carry emotional burdens and struggle to manage their behaviors. Traditional disciplinary measures in most school systems can lead to early suspensions or reprimands, inadvertently pushing these children down a path of continued disruptive behavior and, eventually, involvement in the juvenile justice system or even incarceration.
What sets APEC apart is its unwavering commitment to introducing love, peace, and harmony practices, especially for children facing behavioral challenges. Introducing love, peace, and harmony practices is pivotal in interrupting this harmful cycle. These practices provide a compassionate and holistic approach to address the challenges faced by these vulnerable children giving them an opportunity to learn through love, practice peace and live in harmony.
At APEC, we’ve created a captivating sensory garden that offers a delightful blend of elements. It features gentle lighting, plays the soothing melodies of the “Love, Peace, and Harmony” song, showcases a breathtaking mural crafted by local artists, and is adorned with kale, various vegetables, and vibrant flowers. Additionally, we’ve established an outdoor classroom where nature and education seamlessly intertwine.
Our mission extends beyond our current garden, as we have ambitious plans to establish two more similar gardens in different locations. At present, our focus lies in nurturing the garden at our preschool site, and we eagerly anticipate expanding our horizons to include two more locations. Notably, one of our upcoming projects is the transformation of a beautiful but neglected garden space at a local public school.
Check out our APEC playlist here, including footage from our documentary and recent trip to Atlanta: