These students are part of just one of many classes by Project Access.
The Center for Creative Education (CCE) provides educational programming for local kids in Kingston. From their Cedar Street location, students are able to have a safe space to learn, socialize, and clearly, have some fun.
Lisa Brown has worked here for 18 years as a teaching artist.
"I love being part of their development because I feel like dance is boosting their confidence, their self-esteem. They’re just becoming young women and leaders," Brown said.
One student expressed her gratitude.
"It means a lot," the student said.
The program was created with COVID-19 in mind, as an opportunity for education to continue while families navigate this new normal.
"COVID, I think, made people very distant from each other, and the ability to come to this program, interact, have caring staff that are concerned about how you’re doing every day, has really been an emotional support for a number of our students," said Emma Hambright, program supervisor.
What You Need To Know
- Project Access is a program offered by the Center for Creative Education, a non-profit offering arts and educational programming for the Kingston community
- The program offers daytime and evening classes for 60 students in pre-K through eighth grade
- CCE Executive Director Bryant 'Drew' Andrews says the organization will not turn anyone away due to the inability to pay
- For more information on how to enroll your child in Project Access, visit here
Hambright said the program provides about 60 students in pre-K through eighth grade with free food, access to laptops, and fast WiFi, something parents are so thankful for.
"By having a stable place to bring their kids every day at the same time, they’ve been able to return to work, they’ve been able to hold on to their mortgage and pay their rent, and make sure their families are being fed," she said.
Twelve-year-old Taelyn Gibson enjoys everything the program has to offer.
"I would probably be sitting in my house doing nothing. Reading. Probably watching TV, or something," he said. Things, he said, he’d rather be doing with his friends.
"We never turn anyone away for their inability to pay," said Bryant 'Drew' Andrews, executive director of CCE. "We work things out with our community because we are here for the community."
He said access is incredibly important, especially when you know that for the students, education is everything.