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Rogue River Community Center looks for new 'Kids on Broadway' director

ROGUE RIVER - The Community Center's highly successful Kids on Broadway program is looking for a new director to carry it into its second summer after the founder resigned because of time constraints.

Sheila Cisneros says she strongly believes in the need for an arts program in Rogue River, but between taking care of three young children and working two jobs, Cisneros is feeling a serious time squeeze.

Cisneros, who worked hundreds of volunteer hours creating and overseeing the program, enlisted local artists, teachers and tradespeople to share their talents and skills.

Classes in drama, music, ceramics, watercolors, dance, puppetry, martial arts and cooking were among last year's classes. The arts class culminated with a student talent night and a spoof on Mother Goose fairy tales, "The Case of the Missing Sheep." According to Cisneros, some of last year's volunteer artisans already have signed on to teach again this summer.

Cisneros says she created the program because she feels every child deserves nurturing and sees the arts as an important part of building self-esteem.

"Art can create a way for a child to open up," said Cisneros.

"I remember a kid in my class when I was a child. He was dirty and beat up, the kind of grime that just stays on a kid. You could tell his parents didn't take care of him. But he could draw the most amazing drawings. There he was, some kid who was clearly not adored and worshipped by his family, yet he had such amazing talent.

"I think we all need encouragement, and we all need to support our children. This is an opportunity to let children know they are not our burdens, they are our treasures."

Originally expected to serve class sizes of five or six children, the program last summer drew up to 40 students a session.

The Community Center recently raised more than $300 for the program at a turkey-dinner fund-raiser. Thanks to fund-raisers and grants, this year the part-time director's position will pay $10 an hour for approximately nine hours of supervising class sessions from 8:30 a.m. to — p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The job requires good organizational skills and the ability to work well with children.

Cisneros says she'll be on hand to help anyone interested in taking on the director's position.

"I'll come help. I'd like to stay involved and advise," says Cisneros. "The program can just keep growing every year."

Anyone interested in assuming the director's position, teaching a class or simply volunteering some time for the project may contact Community Center board chairwoman Hope Warren at 1-541-582-4401. Class dates have not yet been determined.

Sanne Specht is a free-lance writer living in Rogue River. Reach her at.