August 18, 2021

CHSNJ Gets Grant to Support Trenton Education Dance Program

LEARNING THROUGH DANCE: The Trenton Education Dance Institute, known as TEDI, has been enhancing the lives of children for more than two decades. Students perform at Trenton’s War Memorial.

The Children’s Home Society of New Jersey (CHSNJ) has been approved for $10,000 from the Grants for Arts Projects award to support TEDI, the Trenton Education Dance Institute. 

TEDI is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during a second round of Grants for Arts Projects of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Also supporting TEDI are The Investors Foundation and the Roma Bank Community Foundation, which have each contributed $500 to further the goals of the program.

TEDI has enhanced the lives of schoolchildren in the capital city of New Jersey for 32 years. The program uses the pedagogy developed by renowned American ballet dancer and choreographer Jacques D’Amboise, who died earlier this year. Professional artists use a combination of dance, performance, and curriculum-related educational materials to teach young people the life skills of self-discipline, teamwork, concentration, cooperation, confidence, and pride in personal achievement.

Reaching across social, ethnic and economic boundaries, TEDI includes children facing physical and emotional challenges. In the past year, rehearsals were held on Zoom. The end-of-year performance was filmed on Zoom and outside on the steps of the War Memorial in Trenton, where performances are usually held. The video is available at

“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as TEDI reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”

After-school, in-person classes will begin in Trenton elementary schools this fall. “We are excited to be coming back in person,” said TEDI Artistic Director Kayla James. “It’s remarkable that we were able to sustain the program remotely and retain the attention of our student dancers. John Williams, our music director, provided live music. We are grateful to the NEA, The Investors Foundation, the Roma Bank Community Foundation and our individual donors for their faith in us during this difficult period. COVID could not keep us from dancing.” 

“Ms. James and Mr. Williams are like teachers, but way funner,” said one of the participants. “TEDI is like a family,” said another.