Helping Kids Fly High
February 3, 2022
The trapezes hanging from the rafters are a dead giveaway that Canopy Studio in Athens is not your average dance school. Here, people of all ages and abilities learn the art of aerial dance and performance — movement education that enriches their lives.
Canopy is the largest non-profit aerial dance studio in the Southeast. But size isn’t nearly as important as impact, particularly on children with disabilities, says Ann Woodruff, executive director.
“Trapeze really is more than just hanging upside down and having fun,” the special education teacher said. “Aerial arts is a recognized medium for bringing happiness, creativity, physical challenge and confidence to those that participate.”
At normal capacity, Canopy Studio’s outreach program provides therapeutic instruction to about 50 students with disabilities. Most receive one-on-one instruction provided at no charge thanks to donations like the $2,500 Walton EMC Operation Round Up grant. The grant is providing private lessons for 15 students for a 10-week period.
Participating in trapeze and movement classes gives children opportunities to develop strength, listening skills and the ability to sequence tasks. These skills carry over into other parts of their lives, helping these students to fly high even when their feet are planted firmly on the ground.
Athens Clarke Co. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners – $5,000. Agency that provides forensic examinations and evidence collection, court testimony, and community prevention education related to rape, sexual and physical assault. Project: Family Protection Center at Mission Road – New center in Morgan county. Barrow, Clarke, Greene, Morgan, Newton, Oconee and Walton Counties.
Bridge the Gap Ministries – $4,000. Christian organization that supports men and women who are, or have been incarcerated. Project: Extended stay motel assistance and homeless needs. Dekalb and Gwinnett Counties.
Burn Foundation of America – $7,500. Organization that supports families of burn victims at the JMS Burn Center in Augusta. Project: Direct services for burn patients. All of Walton EMC territory.
Canopy Studio – $2,500. Aerial arts center where people of all ages and abilities learn the art of aerial dance and performance. Project: Canopy Studio Outreach Program – Financial support for students with special needs, autism, emotional and behavioral disorders to attend classes. All of Walton EMC territory.
Extra Special People, Inc. – $7,500. ESP exists to create transformative experiences for people with disabilities and their families, changing communities for the better. Project: Family support. All of Walton EMC territory.
Falcons Fury Phoenix Pass – $1,800. Organization that serves the needs of women and their dependent children experiencing homelessness by giving them the opportunity to reestablish self-sufficiency in a stable residential setting. Project: Phoenix Pass Christmas gifts. Gwinnett, Rockdale and Walton counties.
KidsPeace National Centers of Georgia – $5,000. Mental health organization that provides mental health care to youth and their families. Project: KidsPeace Georgia Recreation Revitalization Project – Funds will be used to repair and revitalize the outdoor basketball courts and restore the indoor gymnasium flooring. Barrow, Clarke DeKalb, Gwinnett, Newton, Oconee, Rockdale and Walton counties.
Madison Morgan Community Food Pantry – $5,000. Program: Food pantry – Funds will go towards purchasing food in bulk for weekly distribution. Morgan county.
Rachel’s Gift, Inc. – $5,000. Provides specialized bereavement care for parents who lose a child to miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. Program: Infant bereavement services and supplies, education, training and family keepsake boxes. All of Walton EMC territory.
Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse, Inc. – $3,500. Organization that helps patients rebuild lives after brain injuries. Program: Scholarship fund for qualifying patients. DeKalb, Gwinnett and Newton counties.
$20,000 was donated to American Red Cross of Northeast Georgia and Atlanta Community Food Bank, which provide emergency food, shelter and medical needs. Funding comes from our unclaimed capital credits account.
The board approved assistance to six families totaling $27,901.43
WANT TO HELP?
Every customer-owner’s donation helps those in need. Walton EMC covers all administrative costs of the program.