A local America's Got Talent star is keeping his word on improving programs for Syracuse city kids. A motley crew of volunteers took to the Van Buren street clubhouse with commitment to enriching lives of kids on Syracuse's Southside.
"We're here at the Boys and Girls Club to clean up the art room,” said co-founder of the Syracuse Arts Project (TAPS) Avery Stone Fish. “And, you know, really just make this space a little bit more usable for these kids and therapies."
Avery and brother, AGT Alum Hughie Stone Fish, co-founded TAPS with a friend in an effort to bolster access to the arts in the city.
"Growing up in the suburbs of Syracuse, we were afforded that luxury and unfortunately some of these kids in Syracuse art is a luxury,” added Stone Fish.”We're here trying to make sure that these kids in Syracuse have access to art."
Part of the commitment? Making sure that this isn't just one day of cleaning and a few days a year of instruction.
"I think you got to be consistent with these with the kids because they like consistency and it makes them happy when they can see a familiar face,” said local TAPS coordinator Caprice Hibbert. “Helping them to make sure they're good and having fun and knowing that someone cares about them."
Because those hard at work know exactly what an effort like this means.
"I grew up like these kids community, like, you have much, you know, much resources like so I did go to a program like this when I was a kid and they helped us out a lot,” she added. “So for me to be able to come back and return it. Favorite is awesome."
In charge of the day-to-day for this location, ‘Ms. Walleshia’ Delee has seen a growing need for a little TLC around the building, especially over the last two years.
"Kids come in to do homework and tutors come in. we feed them dinner there,” said Ms. Walleshia “They have different activities that they can finish and do art in the art room because that room just got to be done."
There are sure to be more days spent doing more than cleaning, organizing and making sure Syracuse's youth have that much more to engage in.
"It means a lot to us in a case because the kids need art. The kids need hands on things due to this COVID will shorten a lot of things and for us to get helped to come and redo our art room. It means so much," she added.