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Proud to be from Pittsburgh: ACH Clear Pathways

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PITTSBURGH - An after-school program in Pittsburgh's Hill District is providing students a place to nurture their creative side.
 
The program is called ACH Clear Pathways, and offers students a place to do homework, have a hot meal and take part in visual and performing arts.
 
"A couple of  years ago we did karate. We sing, we dance," said Jai'Noah Martin, a fifth-grader.
 
"I like to sing, and art. I like to draw cool people and stuff," said Jonathan Young, a fourth-grader.
 
ACH Clear Pathways aims to bring the arts to students in underserved communities at low or no cost.
 
"I want a kid to know that I went to an afterschool program that made an impact on my life, and I gave back to my community by beautifying it through the arts," said Tyan Battle, the executive director of the program.
 
The program was born out of heartache. The "ACH" in the program's name stands for Amon C. Harris, the executive director's late son. 
 
"In 2009, I lost my 7-year-old son due to a heart condition I was unaware of. When he passed away, I decided to give back to disadvantaged kids with the things he loved to do, which was singing and dancing. And he wanted to take martial arts, but I could never afford the cost," said Battle.
 
Since it started, the program has grown tremendously. Parents are now waiting for their children to get a spot. And the children already participating are proud of the work they're doing.
 
"They're like, 'I did that Ms. Ty' and I'm like, 'Yeah, and it's really good art work!' and I'm like, 'Yeah our kids did that. It's a good feeling,'" said Battle.
 
ACH Clear Pathways is working on a capital campaign to rehabilitate a building in the Hill District and turn it into an arts center. 
 
Students in the program will be performing May 26 at the Hillman Auditorium as part of "Remake Learning" days. For more information on the program and the performance, visit their website.