School of the Arts opens in Cape Coral
“It’s my dream,” said director/instructor Jodie Callahan, of the new 4 the kids School of the Arts. “My first belief is that arts should be a rite of passage for a child, not a financial burden for the parents.”
She wanted to start a low-cost but high-quality studio where there are no expensive registration or recital fees, no expensive costumes to buy – and hold it in a great atmosphere.
For a flat fee of $39 – no matter what class kids want to take – they get a class once a week for the month.
“I took the concept of the Boys Club of America from where I grew up in Boston; they have gymnastics and other things and I thought the atmosphere was wonderful. My concept is to have it all in one place, convenient, and intermingling children in a safe, fun environment – and it’s working.”
Kids enrolled and their parents have nothing but praise for the studio. Pam Kearns and two-year-old daughter Makensie were recently there for a ballet class. “It’s just for fun, we bring costumes and she loves it here – I could go on and on,” said Pam.
“I’ve taken talented people I know. Not only are we teaching quality classes in dance and music, but in January we have art classes,” Callahan continued.
The school is located within Grace Community Center, on the border of North Fort Myers and Cape Coral.
A variety of classes are held on Monday and Thursday nights from 4:15 to 8 p.m. They range from Acrobatics 1 for four to seven year olds to cheer, tap, modern dance, musical theater and more.
There’s also music classes including keyboard and guitar, Character Dance and hip hop.
“There’s also aerobics for adults – $3 a class with no commitments.”Kids already taking classes range in age from two-years old to 17.
Callahan enjoys being surrounded by children. She is also the Parent Involvement Specialist at J. Colin English Elementary School in North Fort Myers.
She recently was very proud when three of the students she coached from J. Colin English were chosen for the “Every Child Is a Star
Talent Show,” produced by Southwest Florida Addiction Services (SWFAS).
Known as “JCE 3”, 8-year-old Shomari Mason, 9-year-old Trenton Minor and 12-year-old David Laboy did a gymnastics routine at the show.
“Our school is a ‘Micro Society’, which is where the children have ‘jobs’ like student government and more, and get paid in micro money which they can spend at market, for goods and services provided by the other students. My gymnastics team is a performance venture, and the kids buy tickets to see us perform.
“The whole staff really got behind what I’m doing with these boys, two of the women on staff actually made their shirts for the competition.”
A Cape resident, Callahan has her daughter Katie help her at the studio. “She is one of my employees and is very helpful to me in all aspects of the studio.
For information, call Callahan at 542-7141 or e-mail Gcc4thekids@yahoo.com.