Miranda Russell wanted her child to appreciate the arts.
She realized that there wasn’t much available near her home, and got to work.Hancock County Arts, her after-school program, began four years ago as a way to expose girls to music, arts and dance.
Over time it offered programs for boys as well.
Leading by example
With the Regional Roadmap funding, a healthy-living component was added into the mix in 2013.
“With the grant money we were able to offer a free camp for about 45 girls that focused on health and nutrition,” Russell says.
“We had people come in to talk about nutrition, fitness and different aspects of living better, and then ended up with a big pool party.”
Being able to underwrite the camp for many children whose parents couldn’t have afforded it meant the programming reached much deeper into this rural area than it otherwise might have.
“We have to be fee-based, or we couldn’t do all that we do,” Russell says.
“This was one of our first opportunities to offer something free for a large number of kids. We’d never gone after a grant before, but this allowed us to expand our horizons.”
“We were able to nurture an idea that began right here at home.”
“And we learned so much from the Regional Roadmap team about how economic factors relate to overall health, it really sparked our interest.
“Anything we can do that will help create a healthier lifestyle and also boost economic prospects in Hancock County is a very big thing.
“We want to pursue another grant this year so we can look at even more opportunities for our community.”
Want to learn more about Tennessee programs that give kids confidence and perspective?
Read about IMPACT and Girls, Inc.