Program pairs artists with kids in single-parent homes

- Sometimes a kid in a single-parent home needs a mentor; someone to talk to, like a big brother or sister. A new approach to mentoring aims to use art to bring young people together with positive role models.

Billy Mays, III is one of the first of those role models to sign on to the partnership between Creative Pinellas and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Mays' artistic talent is bebopping and he's taking on a new student, Kaden.

"I just liked how he mixed it up a little, and we put our own tunes in," Kaden said, about his first experience.

They are part of a pilot program, partnering artists with children who need mentors.

"I think it is an amazing idea," Mays said. "Having someone who is not your parent, just someone who feels like a peer, a friend, but also has more wisdom and experience then you, is always a good thing."

Artists use their creative instincts to help kids reach their full potential.

"There's a lot of data that that says young people, when they get in contact with an artist or with art, their social skills improve, their reading skills improve, their math skills improve, their career outlook improves," explained Barbara St. Clair with Creative Pinellas. 

For more information about taking part in the program, visit http://www.creativepinellas.org/big-brothers-big-sisters/.

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