COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri Boys & Girls Club is partnering with a school's music recording program to provide students access to a free recording studio.

High school interns from Columbia Public Schools' Darkroom Records are helping other students create their own beats and lyrics at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia's new studio, the Columbia Missourian reported .

The studio and equipment cost about $75,000 and opened in November. A $400,000 21st Century Community Learning Center grant from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education funds helped fund the project.

"This is going to really make an impact in those kids lives and really give them a safe, affordable place to go and be creative," said Valerie Livingston, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbia.

Livingston said she hopes the studio will help attract middle school and high school students. She estimates that 20 or 30 new students have used the studio.

"Music is a serious form of stress management and expression," Livingston said. "It's a way for us to mentor these kids and make sure that they're staying in school and graduating and that they have positive role models in their lives and people who love and care about them and who they can trust and go to if they need something."

The organization has been focusing on providing more age-appropriate programs for sixth- through 12th-graders to improve retention, Livingston said. The club also features a gymnasium and culinary kitchen.


Information from: Columbia Missourian,