When Jane Weiner and her team walk into Browning Elementary School in Houston, the kids yell, "Hope Stone is in the house." Weiner, founder and director of Hope Stone, Inc., jokes that the school teachers wish they received that kind of treatment. "They call it Hope Stone Day," she says, proud of the learning environment she has built at the school through The Hope Project.
ope Stone founder and director Jane Weiner. Photo by Simon Gentry, courtesy of Hope Stone
Browning Elementary is one of 11 sites that Hope Stone teaching artists visit during any given semester, to offer dance, music, drumming, theater—or any combination. Classes are free of charge for the students; some schools contribute for her services, while others are supported by grants, foundations and individual giving. Weiner is quick to point out, "We are not an after-school program. Our classes take place during the day as part of the curriculum."