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Bower Center, YMCA team up for summer program

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By John Barnhart

    The Bower Center has teamed up with the YMCA to provide art and dance for 169 children attending Y programs this summer. The children come in from Bedford, Forest and the Goodview areas.

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    According to Sara Braaten, the Bower Center’s director, the 5- and 6-year-olds came in the morning and the older children, 8 through 12 years old, came in the afternoon.
    While at the Bower Center, the children divided into four groups which rotated through painting and drawing, pottery, mosaics and dance. The versions of the classes that the older and younger children went to were different, geared to be age-appropriate.
    The Bower Center is providing the teachers and the YMCA sends camp counselors along with the children. Braaten said that this summer’s YMCA partnership is a first for the Bower Center.        The children’s families pay $10 for these art field trips, which Braaten said is the standard YMCA field trip cost. The cost to the families is kept down because of a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts that Braaten wrote.
    All the art that the children do, with one exception, goes home with them. That exception consists of two large mosaics designed by Dotti Stone, who teaches the mosaic class.
    All the children are doing some of the work on these two mosaics, which will hang outside the Bower Center when finished. Then, any time the children come by, they will be able to see these mosaics and know that they had a part in making them.