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Students get hands-on art lessons

After nine years in Augusta, the arts came to the Boys and Girls Club in Thomson. Artscape Camp, funded by a grant from the Cleon Mauldin Foundation and sponsored by the Greater Augusta Arts Council, was held two weeks ago at the Boys and Girls Club on Pecan Avenue. Youth ages six to 18 spent the week immersed in dance, visual art, violin, recorder and percussion lessons.

"It gives the experience with the arts that many children might not normally have, especially outside of Augusta," said Scott Richardson, who taught music classes at the camp and also is the director of bands at Warren County High School. "It just gives a different flavor to their summertime."

Campers in Mr. Richardson's class learned how to read basic music and the beginnings of how to play the violin. Ameesha Meyers, 14, said she really liked the violin lessons and would like to learn more. Mr. Richardson taught the younger campers how to play the recorder. Those children got to keep their recorders after camp was over.

In dance class, Havalyn Raeuber taught ballet, jazz, hip hop, salsa and African dance.

"They all knew street dancing very well, and I wanted to give them something different I was surprised that every group really got into ballet. I didn't think they'd like it, but they did," Ms. Raeuber said.

The kids got to exercise their creativity in the visual art class, where they made stained glass tropical fish from empty two liter soda bottles and wove colored paper strips into mats. Art teacher Laurel Sherwood said each project was based on a literature book.

"It has been wonderful," Thomson Club Unit Director Sharon Meyers said. "We do crafts here all the time, but not like this. So many of the children have been exposed to so many things. They've also had karate this week, and they really liked that. They've anticipated these people coming in every day."

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Augusta serves nearly 3,000 boys and girls each year in Augusta and Thomson, according to their website.

Web posted on Thursday, July 23, 2009

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