First published in the May 21 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
The Burbank Arts & Education Foundation announced funding Thursday of almost $50,000 in its third cycle of grant-giving with investments made in social and emotional learning; diversity in book selection for libraries and classrooms; academic intervention; school site safety; art studio and classroom seating solutions; arts supplies and materials; instrumental music; and athletics.
Foundation co-chairs Ana Connell and Brenda Etterbeek, along with Grants and Giving chair Alexandra Helfrich, presented grant funding in the amount of $29,681.22 to Burbank Unified Schools at the Board of Education Meeting Thursday.
The Foundation approved BUSD funding of up to $20,000 to provide class sets of ukuleles to the seven elementary schools that currently do not have instrumental music instruction, due to the lack of instruments.
“Beginning in fall 2022 every elementary school student will have instrumental music instruction district-wide for the first time in decades,” the Burbank Arts & Education Foundation said in a statement. “We hope this is the beginning of an equity model that we may be able to follow in the future as needs are identified, and funding is available. The Burbank Arts & Education Foundation strongly believes that every child deserves a high-quality public education.
“One of the key markers of that is elementary instrumental music instruction — for every student. Our mission is to help fill the gaps in education funding and site-based parent fundraising. We’re grateful for the guidance from our BUSD administration advisors in stressing the need to provide equity during our grant review process. And, we’re excited to have the opportunity to partner with BUSD in providing equitable access to elementary instrumental music instruction to all students.”
BUSD Superintendent Dr. Matt Hill added, “Partnership with the Burbank Art & Education Foundation helps us to meet district goals, and to fulfill classroom and site needs. Please join me in supporting their work by donating to the foundation.”
Other highlights from the grant awards include elementary arts supplies and materials including a kiln, diverse classroom and library book collections, critical math intervention, school site safety, and mindful and adaptive seating options.
The middle schools will benefit from block printing art supplies and materials; safety tools for busy drop-off and pick-up times; and sidewide professional development and curriculum in social and emotional learning. The high schools received funding for art studio seating, instruments, sheet music and technology support for an athletic program.
For more information on how to become involved, or to donate visit BurbankArtsandEd.org.