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Cider House is work of art

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POSTED: March 13, 2007 5:15 a.m.
With juvenile and gang-related crime on the rise, it is good to know there are people in our community who are trying new approaches to old problem.
One such person is Clarenda Stanley, founder and executive director of The Cider House Inc., a non-profit organization aimed at helping disadvantaged children focus their attention in positive directions for a brighter future.
The Cider House offers free workshops providing at-risk youths with an opportunity to discover the joys the arts can offer — poetry, drama and theater among them.
What makes Stanley’s efforts particularly inspiring is her proven ability to overcome her own challenges and use her experiences to help others.
Stanley was raised by her grandmother in one of Alabama’s poorest counties and recalled “killing dinner.”
She pointed to those early years living in poverty as being the motivating factor behind her decision to succeed in life.
After obtaining a master’s degree in education, with an emphasis in counseling and psychology, Stanley decided to concentrate her attention on helping young people improve their lives.
She did so by depleting her personal savings and offering free creative art workshops for children in her garage. In 2005, The Cider House became an official non-profit organization.
Today, funding and personnel issues are her most immediate challenges. She is hoping people in the community will aid in her efforts by becoming The Cider House volunteers.
“If you’re willing to pass out flyers and brochures, that’s always a good thing,” Stanley told the Coastal Courier recently.
Anyone who is interested in learning more about the non-profit organization or lend support can do so by contacting Stanley at 980-9274 or visiting her web site at www.theciderhouseinc.org
Anyone who wants to help their community and inspire others to lead more positive and productive lives would be wise to follow Stanley’s philosophy and The Cider House motto, and strive to make “good things out of bad apples.”
All it takes is determination — and a supportive community.
 

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