BELTON (February 16)--Communities in Schools, a non-profit agency that helps kids manage problems and find solutions, is also helping them find their hidden talent. Saturday, over 60 performers took center stage and they all had one thing in common.
"Their communities are different, their backgrounds are different, their struggles are different, but today they are all alike," said Mary Barr, Executive Director for Communities in Schools. There are 28 programs in Texas and Barr's district, which consists of seven school districts, is the third largest in the state. "We have right at 50 schools from Cameron all the way to Copperas Cove," said Barr.
Barr has a staff of 60 people who are located within the schools so kids, parents, teachers and administrators can find them any time they are in need. "We are a support system," said Barr. "No matter what the problem, the staff tries to remove as many obstacles as they can from the can from the pass of these children being successful."
Communities in Schools held a talent show at the performing arts center at Belton High School. "I will be dancing a lyrical hip hop," said Daija Merida, Travis Middle School student. "I've been practicing for like two weeks, I feel very excited and happy and having fun... And I love the costumes."
"Were just going to sing a song that kind of like explains that no matter what happens, you always have to stay focused and never let anything get you down," said Eugene Aurelia, Shoemaker High School student. This is Aurelia's second year performing in the talent show. He thinks Communities in Schools has been very beneficial through his years in school. "The program helps out kids even if their not having such a bad time," said Aurelia. "It helps them out, gives them someone to talk to. They are kind of like a family, like how they treat each other and how they support each other...like they are always there for you know matter what."
Barr said that there was mix of talent at this year's show. "There are dancers, singers, guitar players and even mimes," said Barr. "There is one group bouncing basketballs to song and another stacking cups to music."
The next big event for Communities in Schools is the annual track meet at Leo Buckley Stadium. The event will take place April 20 and kids from kindergarten to sixth grade can participate. According to Barr last year's event had over 600 kids. "We encourage everyone to come and watch these kids do their best," said Barr.