Evolution School of the Arts aims to keep kids out of trouble - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Evolution School of the Arts aims to keep kids out of trouble

(WMC-TV) - Students are getting the chance to be part of a new initiative, aimed at getting the arts back into classrooms. The new program is called Evolution School of the Arts.

LaDell Beamon, with Heal the Hood Foundation of Memphis, and Anthony Hicks, who is part of Gang Reduction Assistance for Saving Society's Youth (GRASSY), were at Lanier Middle School talking to students about the program.

The two men already know what today's youth face, but they also know what type of programs help to keep them out of trouble.

"Kids are really inundated with celebrity and they are looking at it as part of the culture. We ask if they would like to meet them. They say, 'I can?' We say, 'Of course you can,'" said Beamon.

Beamon is not talking about just any celebrities. Classes in the initiative will range from drawing, music, dance, acting, and music recording. Positive role models, who are relevant and successful, will be brought in. It all fits in with GRASSY's approach.

"Try to find activities, recreational opportunities job opportunities to keep kids away from gangs," said Anthony Hicks.

"Most teens, we have a lot of down time and when we have down time, we go out and do stupid things," said 8th grader Ricardo Clark.

The students are now busy making decisions on instruments and classes, while hopefully, talking their friends into participating, too.

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