Art classes help Tampa kids develop life skills

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A Bay Area non-profit is changing young lives with a stroke of a paintbrush.

Kids taking free art classes at the University Area CDC Prodigy Cultural Arts program are developing their skills and expanding their imaginations.

"It is a wonderful program for our youth in our community to be able to figure out how to unitize art in a positive way that really just transforms young lives," the program's director, Sarah Combs explained. 

The sole mission of the public/private initiative is to help children and families become successful. Combs said, through art, participants exercise problem-solving, communication, and anger management.  

The 20-year-old program seems to be working.

"I like the fact that we are able to learn about art while still being able to hang out with our friends and able to have fun with it," participant Madilyn said.

Junior Bolo is an instructor in the program. He brought skills he developed while in his native country of Haiti. He says art helps children perform at a higher level in traditional school subjects.

"Math, geometry; art will help them a lot. For example, help them to be patient," Bolo said. 

The program is transforming young lives by giving them the necessary skills to develop a positive outlook on life.