Harris painting

Shay Harris is a talented artist who cares about the youth in her community and wants to do something to help them, hence, "The After-School Project," an after-school arts program coming to the HSC 4-H Youth Center.

Shay Harris, Community Services Block Grant (SCBG) program participation specialist for the CADC’s Head Start program in Malvern, announced the recent creation of a free youth arts program called “The After-School Project.”

The After-School Project will invite area youth who have dealt with serious issues in and out of the classroom to participate in twice-monthly after-school art classes, to be held at the Hot Spring County 4-H Youth Center.

The program will specifically target children who are frequently in and out of trouble, kids who have experienced bullying, and kids who have problems in the home.

“They might need, you know, just somebody they can talk to,” Harris said. “And then, even those students that may be going through something at home they need a place to go to—just whatever kind of frustration in the home they may be facing.”

Participating youth will have access to art supplies and informal adult instruction, with the purpose being to provide these kids with a sympathetic ear and a healthy outlet for their emotions by way of paint and brush, or whatever art medium suits them.

Harris said the program’s mission “is to encourage those that may have gotten bullied at school, or those with low self-esteem, or those that feel left out…I wanted to make them feel like they are accepted and try to build up their self-esteem and give them confidence.”

Anyone who would like to donate or otherwise get involved in The After-School Project can contact Harris at 501-304-8383.

Read the full story in Wednesday's Aug. 17 newspaper edition.

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