CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Charleston-based youth development organization is "calling all talent" Sunday for its first statewide middle- and high-school talent show.
Innovative Events Consultation, a group dedicated to creating activities that enhance culture, character and achievement, will host its first "West V's Got Talent Back to School Talent Show" Sunday at the West Virginia State University Capitol Theatre in Charleston.
According to Obi Henderson, event promoter and EIC president, the talent show is meant to support scholastic achievement and foster student success.
"The purpose of this event is to show people outside of West Virginia that Charleston is a great place to live," Henderson said. "We look at this city as a diamond in the rough, and our children are our shining jewels."
This is the first year IEC has hosted the talent show, and Henderson said more than 30 students from around the region have registered. A Chicago native and graduate of Alabama A&M University, Henderson said he has researched after-school program participation rates in the state and found of 74,526 middle and high school students in West Virginia, more than 59,000 do not participate in any after-school activities. That's something he believes must change.
"There are analyses that say that kids who participate in after-school programs behave better, receive better grades and perform better on tests, so we want to encourage those activities, Henderson said. "We want to encourage young people to go to after-school programs and we want to encourage activities that help them succeed."
According to Henderson, each participant will be given three minutes to perform a talent of his or her choice, and registrants' talents range from slam poetry to dance to magic tricks. The first-prize award is $250, and second- and third-place will receive scholarships in honor of the late Curtis Price, a former director of the Charleston Job Corps and a West Virginia basketball legend who died in May.