The Edge expanding to offer art activities

April Helms
Akron Beacon Journal
The Edge Sports & Arts Academy will offer two arts-themed summer camps, as well as its traditional 12-week camp, this year.
The Edge Sports & Arts Academy will offer both a traditional 12-week summer camp, which will include sports activities, crafts and other features, and a two-week arts-themed camp.

TWINSBURG -- The Edge Sports & Arts Academy in Twinsburg is launching more of the arts side with two arts-themed summer camps.

"We believe creating art expands a child's ability to interact with the world around them, and provides a new set of skills for self-expression and communication," said Jennifer Goings Smith, development director. "Not only does art help to develop the right side of the brain, it helps children learn other subjects such as reading and math and promotes visual, motor and social development."

The two summer arts camps, aimed at children ages 6 through 13, will be conducted the weeks of June 14 and July 12. Camps will be Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 9 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Katherine Check, a professional artist and licensed art educator, will serve as the arts coordinator. 

During the first week, campers will use pastels, canvas painting, clay and other techniques to explore the “Amazing Animal Kingdom!” Other activities include spoken word, dance and music exploration. The second week will have all new projects against the backdrop of the theme "Love, Peace and the Planet Earth!” 

Goings Smith said that in the future, The Edge will start offering more arts-themed activities, including community engagements designed to showcase local talent, weekend workshops that will incorporate professional instructors for beginning and advanced levels, live performances, and inspirational concerts.

The cost to attend camp is $185 per week, which includes smocks and supplies.

"Arts provides another outlet and avenue for children in addition to or instead of athletics," Goings Smith said. "Funding for art programs in the schools have been reduced. The Edge helps to fill that gap and supplement learning. Art is everywhere, teaching art helps children learn to interact with the world around them. It is a release and another form of accomplishment. As adults we engage in art: theater, music, dance, museums. This is the beginning of developing future performers."

The Edge also will offer its 12-week summer camps, which include games, sports, crafts and more. These camps, for children ages 6 through 12, started June 1 and cost $100 per week. 

Registration is open and available for both camps at www.theeedgetwinsburg.org. Those with questions also can call 330-487-0452.

The Edge Sports & Arts Academy is at 9550 Ravenna Road in Twinsburg.

Camp details

The current guidelines from the state for safety and social distancing "will be adhered to," Goings Smith said.

"We will adjust as those guidelines change," she said. "We are prepared to check campers’ and counselors’ temperatures as they arrive, wear masks, and structure games and events with social distancing in mind. We will keep the kids safe while still providing a fun summer."

The ratio of campers to leaders will not exceed an 8:1 ration, Goings Smith said. Camps "will be organized into small groups that rotate between activities and locations throughout the day, so mass gathering limits are met."

Details on The Edge's policies and rules regarding COVID-19 safety practices can be found on The Edge's website.

Both the traditional summer camp and the arts camp offer morning and afternoon care for an additional fee, Goings Smith said.

Campers are required to bring their own lunch; snacks also will be available for purchase at the concession stand. 

History 

In 2016, Destiny Church acquired Pinnacle Sports-Twinsburg and formed The Edge Sports & Arts Academy, a non-profit organization with the mission of offering spiritual formation and community transformation through passionate people, holistic programming, strategic partnerships and a communal place. The Edge utilizes the vehicles of sports and arts to help youth develop their character and contribute to the world.

The sports component of the organization continues to grow with local JO/AAU teams, athletic training and competitive tournaments. Over the past two years, nearly 30 high school players were awarded opportunities at colleges after participating in the Annual Kenny Anderson Basketball Showcase held at The Edge. Former NBA player William Henry “Smush” Parker participated and encouraged the youth as he coached from the sidelines and shared from his NBA experiences.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com