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Prodigy Cultural Arts Program providing free classes to kids in danger of losing state funding

Posted at 5:34 PM, Feb 21, 2017

An arts program providing free classes for kids is in danger of losing state funding. 

Prodigy serves 3,500 kids in West Central Florida and 1,000 just in Hillsborough County. 

“I’ve seen a lot of growth in them a lot of confidence built up,” Katrina Osborne said.

She has seen her twin boys grow since they started drums and hip-hop dance this year. Lessons for two kids, twice a week, are free at Prodigy and would be hundreds of dollars anywhere else. 

“It would be very expensive and I’m grateful, we were in a position where I had lost my job and it was like, we need some assistance, we need some help,” Osborne said.

The program provides dozens of arts classes for kids in Florida and funding is in jeopardy. 

“We’re not included for next fiscal year in the Department of Education’s budget so that means we don’t have a home right now for next year,” Mike Trepper, Prodigy Director, said.

Prodigy’s CEO is in Tallahassee Tuesday meeting with legislators. They’re hoping to keep the same $4.6 million budget in tact, but it’s up in the air.

“That’s very worrisome because if the program goes away or is half funded that would decimate the program for thousands of kids and families,” Trepper said.

"Honestly, I don’t know what they would do, they wouldn’t, we wouldn’t have any means to put them anywhere else,” Osborne said.

It could be months before Prodigy learns their fate, all dependent on the state budget. 

If you’d like to sign up for Prodigy, visit www.transformingyounglives.org.

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