Sun Shine: Main Idea paints a new picture of opportunity in Worcester’s Main South

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Art and creativity allow children to express themselves, foster a sense of self-confidence and broaden their horizons. At Main Idea, a weeklong summer day program in Main South, a team of volunteers and teachers is invested in the positive impact art can have on individuals, especially at-risk youth.

Main Idea is a weeklong summer arts education program now run out of Clark's Atwood Hall.

Courtesy Main Idea

Main Idea is a weeklong summer arts education program now run out of Clark’s Atwood Hall.

Parent-turned-volunteer Eve James is a Main Idea believer.

She first heard about the program six years ago when her children, Isiah and Kara, came home from Jacob Hiatt Magnet School with fliers trumpeting a new summer program. Kara was a year too young at the time, but James registered Isiah. “Free is hard to come by and camps are very expensive,” she said.

Isiah, now 15, came to Main Idea with ADHD and other behavioral issues, and on the second day of his first summer his behavior prompted a call to his mother. By the time James arrived at the class, though, teachers had already handled the issue and helped her son.

Isiah, Kara and Eve James are all believers in Main Idea.

Courtesy Eve James

Isiah, Kara and Eve James are all believers in Main Idea.

Isiah went on to receive an award for art that first week. James even recalls the art and dance teachers having a good-natured fight over who could give him an award. Seeing her son’s boost in self-confidence, she began to cry at the award ceremony.

“Every year he went back, he got better and better,” James said. After graduating from the program, Isiah became a counselor-in-training while Kara, now 11, still participates in the program.


Sun Shine Rewind:

Finding support can be a transformational experience [Aug. 30, 2015]

LGBT immigrants find safe haven in Hadwen Park [Aug. 9, 2015]

Chef Louis Torres, left, and waiter Rey Ortiz are in recovery and proof of the impact Cafe Reyes can make.

Giselle Rivera-Flores / For Worcester Sun

Chef Louis Torres, left, and waiter Rey Ortiz are in recovery and proof of the impact Cafe Reyes can make.

Cafe Reyes serves up an evolution in recovery [Oct. 11, 2015]

Main South youth take matters into own hands [Aug. 16, 2015]



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