Young Artist Development Program encourages Bronx kids

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THE BRONX -

To help raise a new generation of Bronx artists, a local group is helping kids turn their life experiences into works of art.

It's called the Young Artist Development Program.

"What we inspire is getting whatever is inside out on paper," says Latoya Jones-Herbert, the program leader. "Whatever you are dealing with inside -- negativity, sadness, frustration, whatever it is -- pour it out in your paper."

To do that, the program encourages kids to write or practice spoken word poetry.

"Creative writing is one of our strongest tools," Jones-Herbert says.

The program also includes singing, dancing and music.

"At first I wasn't really feeling it, because I used to be afraid to perform in front of people," says Jamar McIntosh, one of the students. "Next thing I knew, I tried something new, and I really liked it."

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