American Children's Orchestras for Peace, Inc.

Music as a tool for peace & social change

aka American Children's Orchestras for Peace (ACOP)   |   Miami, FL   |  www.americanchildrensorchestras.org

Mission

“If we are to reach real peace in this world, we shall have to begin with the children." - Mahatma Gandhi


ACOP's mission is to “create for our children, through music, an environment free of violence.". Our Vision is that, by developing specific musical programs, we aim to provide children with alternatives to the cycle of poverty and hopelessness that so often leads to violence. Our vision caters as much to the children's artistic development as it does to the idea of music as a tool for peace and social change.

We are thrilled about exposing deprived children, who could otherwise not afford such opportunities, to the world of music.

Ruling year info

2002

President

Ms. Maida Santander

Main address

2150 Coral Way, Suite 3C

Miami, FL 33145 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

The Non-Violent Foundation for World Peace, Inc.

American Foundation for Peace, Inc.

American Children’s Foundation for Peace, Inc.

EIN

65-1151715

NTEE code info

Music Groups, Bands, Ensembles (A6C)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

American Children's Orchestras

At the core of ACOP’s program the project focus is on musical instruction and the world of music, with five programs; Classical Music, Latin Music/Afro-Caribbean Orchestra, Chorus, Recorder Orchestra for Pre-K children and a Parents for ACOP Orchestras composed of children and dance.

Children in ACOP’s Classical Orchestras program learn the history of instruments; important composers; and the importance, structure, and different forms of classical music – while learning to read and write in musical notation. During this time, students learn both correct body positioning and form, while becoming familiar with the instrument of their choice. The sections include "String” instruments: violin, viola, and cello.

The same system of instruction applies to our Latin and Afro-Caribbean Orchestras program. Children learn to play percussion instruments such as; congas, timbales, keyboards, drums, Haitian bongos, etc. in a rotation schedule with the different instruments.

With a large demographic of Latin-American and Haitian children in the South Florida area, our Orchestras are a popular and educational program that teach children the roots of their culture.

Several of our program sites also offer voice instruction (Chorus). ACOP's Chorus classes will allow children to learn the basics of voice development and breathing techniques, as well as lyrics and songs.

After several months of instruction and practice, the students will perform in public concerts and performances throughout the Miami-Dade County. The American Children’s Orchestras involve family members, and the neighboring communities, regardless of social and economic barriers, to share in their accomplishments

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

At the core of ACOP’s program the project focus is on musical instruction and the world of music, with five programs; Classical Music, Latin Music/Afro-Caribbean Orchestra, Chorus, Recorder Orchestra for Pre-K children and a Parents for ACOP Orchestras composed of children and dance.

Children in ACOP’s Classical Orchestras program learn the history of instruments; important composers; and the importance, structure, and different forms of classical music – while learning to read and write in musical notation. During this time, students learn both correct body positioning and form, while becoming familiar with the instrument of their choice. The sections include "String” instruments: violin, viola, and cello.

The same system of instruction applies to our Latin and Afro-Caribbean Orchestras program. Children learn to play percussion instruments such as; congas, timbales, keyboards, drums, Haitian bongos, etc. in a rotation schedule with the different instruments.

With a large demographic of Latin-American and Haitian children in the South Florida area, our Orchestras are a popular and educational program that teach children the roots of their culture.

Several of our program sites also offer voice instruction (Chorus). ACOP's Chorus classes will allow children to learn the basics of voice development and breathing techniques, as well as lyrics and songs.

After several months of instruction and practice, the students will perform in public concerts and performances throughout the Miami-Dade County. The American Children’s Orchestras involve family members, and the neighboring communities, regardless of social and economic barriers, to share in their accomplishments

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

At the core of ACOP’s program the project focus is on musical instruction and the world of music, with five programs; Classical Music, Latin Music/Afro-Caribbean Orchestra, Chorus, Recorder Orchestra for Pre-K children and a Parents for ACOP Orchestras composed of children and dance.

Children in ACOP’s Classical Orchestras program learn the history of instruments; important composers; and the importance, structure, and different forms of classical music – while learning to read and write in musical notation. During this time, students learn both correct body positioning and form, while becoming familiar with the instrument of their choice. The sections include "String” instruments: violin, viola, and cello.

The same system of instruction applies to our Latin and Afro-Caribbean Orchestras program. Children learn to play percussion instruments such as; congas, timbales, keyboards, drums, Haitian bongos, etc. in a rotation schedule with the different instruments.

With a large demographic of Latin-American and Haitian children in the South Florida area, our Orchestras are a popular and educational program that teach children the roots of their culture.

Several of our program sites also offer voice instruction (Chorus). ACOP's Chorus classes will allow children to learn the basics of voice development and breathing techniques, as well as lyrics and songs.

After several months of instruction and practice, the students will perform in public concerts and performances throughout the Miami-Dade County. The American Children’s Orchestras involve family members, and the neighboring communities, regardless of social and economic barriers, to share in their accomplishments

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

Certificate of Appreciation 2008

Mayor Carlos Alvarez

Certificate of Appreciation 2007

Chairman of County Commissioners Bruno Barreiro

Proclamation 2001

Mayor Joe Carrollo

Proclamation 2001

Senator Gwen Margolis

Proclamation 2001

Mayor Andrew Hirschl

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percentage of children who made a meaningful improvement in their Physical Fitness.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

American Children's Orchestras

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Based on an increase in four laps completed from the pre-test to the post-test.

Percentage of children who make a meaningful improvement in their Reading Comprehension.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

American Children's Orchestras

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Defined as an improvement from the "Frustrational" to "Instructional" to "Mastery" level of reading comprehension.

Percentage of children who make a meaningful improvement in their Oral Reading Fluency.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

American Children's Orchestras

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Defined as an improvement from the "Frustrational" to "Instructional" to "Mastery" level of oral reading fluency.

Percentage of children who make a meaningful improvement in their Social Emotional Wellbeing.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

American Children's Orchestras

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Based on an increase of .41 points from the pre-test to the post-test or maintain a score of 3 or more.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

ACOP provided children with alternatives to the cycle of poverty and hopelessness which often leads to violence. This year-round program is designed to provide instruments and free lessons to underserved, at-risk, & disable children in Miami-Dade County, using music to improve individual achievement, social skills, parental involvement, and ultimately - children's lives.

ACOP improved the musical aptitude knowledge of each young children, reduced negative behaviors while improving social skills and peer-to-peer relationships, increased parental involvement in their child's activities. ACOP's Music Program awakened the youth's competitive spirit, stimulated the children to improve their own abilities, promoted and provided opportunities to build cultural understanding and goodwill. Developing musical skills offers students career options as it improves the quality of their lives.

We have accomplished our mission by creating successful and thriving orchestras, where the children are learning and flourishing. After months of instruction and rehearsal, children are provided with the opportunity to perform, inviting their families and the community to share in the accomplishment, at their public concerts at schools, parks or other institutions throughout Miami-Dade. The other outcomes are less tangible but still measurable: the children who have received music instruction improved core academic and cognitive skills. Additionally, participating in full orchestra rehearsals and performance builds conflict avoidance and resolution skills, and builds the ability to work in groups (i.e., teamwork). Furthermore, participating in the orchestras can develop self-esteem and regular interaction to positive adult role models is a proven protective factor for high risk.

The benefits are numerous and overlapping, and they include, improved/sustained academic performance, school attendance, conduct, self-esteem and interpersonal skills, positive peer groups and career aspirations. Because all aspects of the program are free and all event transportation is provided, parents feel good about enrolling their children in an enriching cultural program without simultaneously worrying about out-of-pocket expenses or scheduling transportation for children activities or needs.

When ACOP began program activities in 2003, special outreach efforts were made to ensure a high participation level from disadvantaged children at school sites, since then thousands of children participated in ACOP Auditions are not conducted and our program is completely free of charge. ACOP has developed and implemented a highly successful marketing plan. It has been successful because it has reached the parents and children of our targeted communities. Specifically, the plan includes: Specially designed flyers for parents and children in English, Spanish .sometimes in Creole. Dissemination of information by partnering schools and agencies for partnerships and collaboration in newsletters, bulletin boards as well as at staff and parents PTA meetings. Community Press coverage of program activities (e.g., concerts, children's achievements, etc.)

The Children's Trust website and ACOP's website. Community Press coverage of program activities (e.g., concerts, children's achievements, etc.) ACOP's website. .Exposure through the worldwide media Facebook, Guide Star.com, Great Non – Profits and Switchboard of Miami. Also, our Secretary of the Board Member has participated on coverage of activities on interviews by different Radio & TV exposures. In Addition Arts & Entertainment Council Event Paint –Me – Miami, Enriqueciendo Nuestra Comunidad at Little Havana Nutrition Center, ACOP performed and interacted with the elderly community. We look for the involvement of professional music organizations and artist to visit and mentor the kids which gave us the chance to socialize and keep up the hard work.

ACOP strongly values its relationship with community partners and has developed wonderful community partnership and collaboration. Since 2004, the support of Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs, The Children's Trust (TCT). Florida Cultural Affairs among others. Also partnerships with Miami-Dade County public Schools, Park & Recreations, Community Centers, as Centro Mater Child Care & Neighborhood Centers; Connect Families; and the partnership with The Kiwanis of Little Havana who sponsored the ACOP Music Festival “Children for Peace. These essential collaborations and financial support have assisted ACOP in sustaining the organization as a financially stable and accountable non-profit. In addition, ACOP's President it's involved, and former member of The Miami Arts & Entertainment Council Board of Directors where important aspects Miami's key Art matters are decided, serving in advisory capacity and making recommendations to the City. ACOP has also been awarded a 2011 Exemplary Dade Partner by Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Promoting our program with the support of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Miami- Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and City of Miami Mayor Tomas P. Regalado, Commissioners, Bruno A. Barreiro; Francis Suarez; Esteban Bovo; Willie Gort; Jose “Pepe" Diaz; Jean Monestime, just to name a few.

Poverty places children at disproportionate risk to factors that may impair brain development and affect social and emotional development. In addition to the physical and mental health risks, poor children are at higher risk for decreased cognitive development, reduction in school attendance, and higher rates of grade failure.


“Facts about America's Youth" (http://guide.helpingamericasyouth.gov) reports the negatively spiraling relationship between poverty and violence – which American Children's Orchestra's for Peace seeks to counteract through music.

ACOP provided children with alternatives to the cycle of poverty and hopelessness which often leads to violence. This year-round program is designed to provide instruments and free lessons to underserved, at-risk, & disable children in Miami-Dade County.

We are thrilled about been exposing thousands of deprived children - who could otherwise not afford such opportunities - to the world of music. We also believe that this is a very exciting opportunity for them, since developing musical skills offers students long-term career options as it improves the quality of their lives. Beyond the scope of the project, it is hoped that exposure to cultural arts in general – and music particularly – will fundamentally alter a child's life by encouraging excellence that is within his or her reach.

ACOP haven't accomplished and is currently looking to achieve additional funding to counter the problems faced as a result of budget reduction from TCT Programs & Florida Cultural Affairs. ACOP has not been able to grow to its fullest potential. In fact, some site locations were forced to close. ACOP had to cancel the Parent for ACOP events. The opportunities for our children to perform have also declined, as our financial restrictions have not left room to cover costs for transportation and supporting staff. ACOP has had reduced the number of instructors and classes offered at the schools, and the positions of Parent Coordinator and Orchestras Coordinator was eliminated. Our program serves as an outlet for children who are regularly left at home or among the violent streets of their communities while their parents are hard at work. It is saddening to realize that they are deprived of the immeasurable benefit that ACOP provides because of the lack of funding. The American Children's Orchestras for Peace is dedicated to the prevention of violence and hopelessness through the universal language of music.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We provide music instruction to underprivileged children in public schools, parks, and community centers to break the cycle of poverty and hopelessness.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

American Children's Orchestras for Peace, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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American Children's Orchestras for Peace, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 6/18/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Dr. Rafael Diaz-Yoserev

American Children's Orchestras for Peace, Inc.


Board co-chair

Dr. Rafael Diaz-Yoserev

MD, Surgeon, Diplomat of the American Board of Surgery & Fellow of the American College of Surgeons

Rafael Diaz-Yoserev

Surgeon & Co-Founder of American Children's Orchestras for Peace, Inc.

Maida Santander

Founder/President, American Children's Orchestras for Peace, Inc.

Denis Rod

CEO China - Latin American Trade Center

Carla Gutierrez, CPA

Certified Public Accountant

Ross Jimenez

Expertise: Former President of the Kiwanis of Little Havana

Lizzet Martinez. Esq.

Expertise: Attorney at Law

Irina Villarino

Expertise: Director of Concept Development , Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine

Diana Rodriguez

Expertise: Special Assistant Miami-Dade County Office

Elia Perez-Aryan

Expertise: ACOP's Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/18/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.