Innovative summer program planned for Apalach teens


It’s called Community Moving Education, and its about to make a huge summertime splash in Apalachicola  for middle and high schoolers.

This five-week arts program, headquartered at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and the Arts, is the brainchild of former New York City dancer Frenchy Haynes, the founding director of the non-profit Moving Education Institute Inc.

Funded through a grant from CareerSource Gulf Coast, the program promises to be unlike anything Apalachicola has seen before, combining everything from culinary arts to dance to athletics to gardening, in an action-packed five weeks for young people ages 10 to 19.

The program is free, but parents must sign up their children beforehand, so that all the proper permissions can be signed, sealed and delivered.

To register, email or come by the HCA at 86 Water Street or call 653-1458.

Do it soon, because there are limits on some of the classes.

The program opens Tuesday, June 1 with four days of painting, and a full introduction to visual arts.

The following week is an introduction to something Haynes, who grew up in New York City and New Orleans, knows well. A former dancer with Alvin Ailey, the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Nikolai Dance Theatre, Haynes has danced throughout the world and will be leading the June 1 to July 8 intro to dance, which will incorporate ballet, West African, modern, Hip-Hop and jazz dance techniques, choreography and performance.

West African drumming will be introduced as well, and from June 7 to 11, a culinary class with a professional chef will be the bill of fare.

From June 15 to 18, learn the basic of photography with a University of Florida photography professor, and then June 21 to 23, learn how to create your own garden from a master gardener.

It won’t be a competitive athletic grind, but a chance for all skill levels to take part, as some of the program will be held at the Matchbox, in conjunction with JT Escobar’s Equal Shot program.

“it’s about bringing the community together with all these different components of the community, like Holy Family, like the Matchbox, like the HCA, everybody working together, trying to come together as whole in the community to fill the void, to make sure we touch all the children,” said Haynes.

On June 24 will be the only mandatory part of the program, with a Choices program, focusing on an “Educated Mind – Health Choice, the Best You!”

Field trips and a culminating series of activities and performances are slated for the final week, before it all wraps up the first week of July.

It’s all free, but Haynes is expecting that enrollment will be competitive, with a limited number of spots.

Those interested can come by the HCA or visit Project Impact. Or contact HCA Director Merrill Livingston at, or Haynes at


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