Boys and Girls Club plans talent show

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Performing arts talents of Suffolk students attending the Boys & Girls Club will be showcased for the public at John F. Kennedy Middle School Dec. 18.

The talent and art shows start at 6 p.m. in the auditorium after doors open at 5.45 p.m., and acts will follow the theme of “celebrate,” said organizer LaMarr R. Coles III.

“The kids have been working on the acts for 2-1/2 months now,” Coles said. “They have been putting in long hours about three or four times a week.”

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At the free show, folks will see and hear praise dance and mime, a musical ensemble, spoken word-style poetry, and the Boys & Girls Club Choir.

“The little glimpses I have seen, it’s awesome,” Coles said. “The kids are really big into the whole theme.”

Kids with their own special acts to share have been encouraged to get involved, according to Coles. One of those, he said, is King’s Fork High School junior Gerald Stokes, with a spoken-word poem.

“This is something that’s going to grab the audience,” Coles said. “He’s been writing poetry since he was very young, and just to see him develop over the years has been awesome.”

The club provides a safe and productive place for students to hang out after school. As well as joining in the activities that will be showcased next week, kids learn leadership skills and civics, explore career options, and are advised on the importance of avoiding drugs and alcohol and remaining physically active.

The stated club mission is to “enable all young people, especially those who need us the most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.”

Coles said about half of the average 105 kids who attend the after-school club are involved in the talent show.

“This is open to the general public,” he said. “Anyone is definitely welcome to come. The more people we have the better.”

He said it’s a great opportunity for the club to give folks insight into how kids attending the club are encouraged to be creative and grow as individuals.

While the event is free of charge, folks are encouraged to bring a donation for the club, such as pencils and paper or other classrooms supplies, or a monetary contribution.

“All will go directly back to the club,” Coles said.

While the club has held talent shows in the past, Coles said it was his vision to organize a special one for the holidays on a larger scale.

“We’d love it to be annual, but we’ll see how this one goes,” he said.