*Editor’s note: Two names were misspelled in this article. They have been corrected online.
gThe Home and Art Academy (THAAA) of reensboro invites kids to double the fun this Halloween for its first ever Halloween Costume Glow Party on Friday, November 1 from 7:30-9 p.m. Co-owner Tara Wilson said the $10 ticket price includes light pops, games, candy, snacks and a live DJ for a night of fun and dancing. She said all ages are welcome to have fun without having to worry about school the next day. (Small children must be accompanied by an adult throughout the event.)
Wilson and co-owner Deon King saw the need for a program that offered after-school tutoring and summer camp with an emphasis on the areas of art, cooking skills, and home economics . Wilson said they came up with the idea for a light party because most of the extracurricular activities in that area were sports-focused. She said they wanted to serve as an outlet for kids to engage in art and home economics because “there are so many talented kids out there who love to draw, paint, cook and more” , however, many of them do not have the means or the resources. to express it. Wilson and King opened The Home and Art Academy in September 2018 while continuing to work on the building. She said they welcomed their first group of students in January 2019.
“We’re really, really creative,” Wilson said. “The goal of our program is to provide a safe and structured learning environment that promotes fun, growth, and a creative learning experience.”
Wilson said THAAA’s curricula include art, cooking skills, home economics, Spanish and sign language for students in grades two through 12. She said tutoring and EOG/SAT prep are offered and schedules can be determined based on parent needs. Summer camps are for students in grades 1 to 6 and are offered Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. After-school care for K-8 students is also offered on weekdays and includes a snack, crafts, computer use, video games, homework help and tutoring. Tuition prices can be found online along with registration details for after school classes and summer camp.
Wilson said they also offer etiquette lessons for kids, which include learning table manners, learning how to set the table, and understanding restaurant vocabulary. At summer camp, children can go swimming every Tuesday and have an educational outing every Thursday. Wilson said field trips so far have included Bumper Jumpers, Greensboro Historical Museum, Blandwood Mansion, The Spot For Fitness, Camp Candy, Skate Land USA, Triad Lanes Bowling Alley and UniverSoulCircus.
Along with other events they host throughout the year, Wilson said they also rent out the THAAA space for private parties on weekends. She said the rental fee includes table and chair setup, free Wi-Fi, and a full kitchen. Hands-on experiences in art, baking, cooking, and other entertainment services are available upon request. They host Girl Scout and Scout troops, church groups, dance teams and youth programs.
Wilson said that for anyone interested in learning modern calligraphy, they will have a Beginners Lettering Workshop ($35) on Nov. 9 from 5-7 p.m. with a professional instructor. The ticket price includes supplies and refreshments.
She said those interested in supporting the academy can find t-shirts for children and adults on the THAAA website. Additionally, Wilson’s 7-year-old son and author, Jayce Ellerbe, has a coloring book called “God is Super Cool”, illustrated by Kierstin Brackett, available for purchase from the online store.
Wilson wants to invite local business owners to share their success stories with kids at a summer camp in 2020 so kids know what’s in their area. She said last year they had guest speakers every week and the kids “really opened up to all the teachings of entrepreneurship.”
Wilson said The Home and Art Academy also likes to give back to those in need. This year, THAAA plans to donate Halloween treat bags to youth at local shelters. Last year, they donated Christmas gifts and Easter baskets to children at local shelters. They also accept donations for THAAA to help them continue helping underprivileged children.
“Life isn’t about how much money you make,” Wilson said. “It all depends on the difference you make and the opportunities you provide. Our goal at The Home and Art Academy is to bring out the best in every child, embracing creativity and continuing to dream big. Every child has the potential to have a bright future, despite their circumstances. We just have to encourage them to believe it…even if it’s a non-traditional approach.
She said that looking forward, “we just plan to continue to grow and have a positive impact on young people in our community.”
TERRY RADER is a freelance writer, poet, singer-songwriter, wellness herbalist, women’s flower essence and energy clearing practitioner, and owner of Paws n’ Peace o’ Mind cat /dog/house sitting.
You want to go there ? Nov. 1, 7:30-9 p.m., Halloween Glow Costume Party ($10), Nov. 9, 5-7 p.m., Beginners Hand Lettering Workshop ($35), The Home and Art Academy, 5415-D W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro, (336)763-2001 Hours: Monday-Friday, 2:30-6 p.m., Saturday, Sunday. closed except for special events.