"I remember thinking this is great," Dooley said. She began to volunteer to help with the yearly academy. "We want to help the academy to reach a higher level each year," she said.
"Music is a stimulus for the brain," Dooley said. "I want to see students move forward with creativity."
Dooley now serves as co-director of the academy, and Jordan is an administrator for the academy.
To give more young people a chance to attend the academy, its leaders would like to award free tuition scholarships to some students. But it costs at least $200 per student to finance the academy.
This year's academy begins July 8. After students arrive, they will study with professionals and teachers who have experience in the arts. They will take part in a talent show and expand their knowledge of the arts as well as the heritage and culture of African-Americans.
"There is a lot of creativity and movement in the arts," Dooley said. "I want students to see what it can do for them."
To help send a child to this camp or others like it, please donate to the Gazette Charities Send-A-Child-To-Camp Fund. Please see the donation coupon with this story. The mailing address is 1001 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301. To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and look for the camp fund logo.
Reach Susan Williams at susanwilli...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5112.