Above the Clouds jump starts classes in Layton Boulevard West community

Above the Clouds, Inc., a Milwaukee-based nonprofit organization providing free arts education programs for at-risk youth and families, kicked off programming Wednesday in the Layton Boulevard West community with two hip hop classes for neighborhood youth.

The classes, held at the Urban Ecology Center’s Menomonee River Valley site, were made possible by a multi-year, $80,000 grant Above the Clouds received from the Helen Bader Foundation earlier this month.

The weekly classes, which run through spring, cater to 5 to 8 year olds and 9 to 14 year olds. The class for younger students is held Wednesdays at 4:15 p.m., and the class serving older students follows at 5:30 p.m.

Above the Clouds, which has seven other class sites throughout Milwaukee, is still recruiting students in the Layton Boulevard West community for classes. Each class can hold 20 to 25 students.

As the faith-based nonprofit organization expands its programming in the community during future class sessions to serve more of the neighborhood’s 1,200 families in need, it will add additional classes focused on theatre, martial arts, modern dance, drawing, stepping and cheerleading.

“We’re trying to see what the children are interested in,” said Linda Wade, co-founder of Above the Clouds.

The nonprofit is also in need of more volunteers to help facilitate its arts programs and is in search of additional funding opportunities, Wade said.

For more information about ways to get involved, visit www.abovethecloudsmilwaukee.com.

Above the Clouds classes are free and open to the public. The Urban Ecology Center’s Menomonee River Valley site is located at 3700 W. Pierce St. in Milwaukee.

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