2017-07-12 / Top News

Quality Life Center program receives national recognition

Gulfshore Ballet has formed a partnership with the Quality Life Center in Fort Myers. Here, dancers demonstrate exercises to youngsters. COURTESY PHOTO Gulfshore Ballet has formed a partnership with the Quality Life Center in Fort Myers. Here, dancers demonstrate exercises to youngsters. COURTESY PHOTO Quality Life Center’s Arts, Character & Education program has been named as a finalist for the 2017 National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award.

The ACE afterschool program, serving at-risk youth in Southwest Florida, is one of 50 outstanding programs across the country recognized for its work in providing excellent arts and humanities learning opportunities to young people. Youth engage in active learning academic lessons, and arts activities.

Chief Operating Officer and Performing Arts Director Keesha Allen oversees the program, which provides a creative learning environment where students receive academic assistance, character-building activities and arts instruction. Ms. Allen has a broad range of training and experience, and has created partnerships with professional dancers that allow children to receive a superior and well-rounded dance education.

“I want children to feel empowered through the arts,” said Ms. Allen. “It takes hard work, dedication and accepting critique every day. It’s a life lesson that is mastered through dance and drama that will help them in life forever.”

Children in the current ACE summer camp program are engaged in active learning academic lessons, STEM projects, character-building activities and field trips. In addition, the 140 children and youth in the eight-week program will perform or participate in the production end of its annual summer performance. This year’s performance, “Cynderella,” is an updated version of a girl persisting in the face of difficult circumstances and believing in herself. The show will take place on July 21 at 6 p.m. at Dunbar High School. Tickets are $5 for adults and $2.50 for children, and are available at Quality Life Center.

Quality Life Center is at 3210 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. in Fort Myers. For more information, call 334-2797 or visit www.qualitylifecenter.org. ¦

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