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Guilford County Schools operating summer arts program

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Guilford County Schools is giving students a chance to explore gifts and talents they don’t always get to take classes in.

The GCS Summer Arts Institute is allowing students in grades 2-9 an opportunity to delve into their interests in music, drama and art.

“The arts just have a correlation with better math scores, better reading scores, better emotional health and stability,” said Cindy Helms, Summer Arts Institute program coordinator.

The students are able to choose an area to major in and minor in through the duration of the program.

Student Amara Bush enjoys studying dance.

“In here, you have a free mind. A lot of times [at] school, you don’t always have the chance to be like this,” she said.

“I’ve learned new dances like how to improv and everything,” student Lily Elkes said.

Helms says the program is a good way to keep the momentum of learning during the summer months ahead of students heading back to school.

This is the eighth year of the Summer Arts Institute.

Thursday, there will be an end of program performance at 2 p.m. at Ragsdale High School, which includes an art gallery walk.

The performance is open to the public.