Washington Elementary Music Program Gets A Boost From “And The Beat Goes On”

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George Washington Elementary School hosts And the Beat Goes On on Friday evening, May 1. Supported by the school’s PTA, along with Nickelodeon Studios, the Burbank Association of Realtors Community Service Foundation and Warner Bros. Entertainment, the event aims to raise funds to support the Washington Elementary Music Program for the school’s nearly 500 students in transitional Kindergarten through grade five.

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“Our goal is to raise $20,000 to maintain and expand our music program,” commented Washington Principal Brandi Young. “We have a wonderful community of students and families who coming together to support our kids and are very grateful to Nickelodeon, Warner Bros. Entertainment, the Burbank Board of Realtors, Birns & Sawyer, Inc., Tent Kings and all of our local partners for making this event possible!”

washingtonmovienight“Thanks to these partners we are engaging our Washington community like never before and getting closer to realizing the vision we established in 2013 – music instruction for ALL our students with instrumental instruction options for fourth and fifth,” added Young.

A silent auction, opportunity drawing for a 46″ RCA flat screen television, costume contest and an outdoor screening of The LEGO Movie are planned. Food from Gourmet Pizza and Kona Ice will be available at the campus and families are encouraged to pack picnics and bring blankets.

Washington Elementary is a Title I school with more than 60% of its students qualifying for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch program, according to BUSD Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator Peggy Flynn.

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Many students are enrolled in LEAP-Language Education Academic Program, a program that serves children with autism, Washington’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) program and theEnglish Language Development program that serves students whose home languages include Spanish, Armenian and Arabic. All receive instruction in music that includes the elements of music, movement and theory.

Music education is an effective, research-supported strategy employed to support student achievement, develop community and reinforce math and reading skills for Washington’s diverse student population, added Flynn.

“These are the tools that provide equal access to a quality arts education,” she also said. “Burbank Unified made a commitment to give every student the opportunity learn and be creative. Washington Elementary is a perfect example of how that commitment has inspired our whole community to support and expand that vision.”

In 2007, the Burbank Unified School District restored general music instruction to elementary grades two through five, twice a month, by hiring two elementary music specialist teachers. In 2013, thanks to the generous support of the employees at Nickelodeon and a donation from the Leadership Burbank Class of 2013, Washington Elementary was able to expand the district-provided music program to include weekly general music instruction for all students in grades K-5 and develop a vision that includes instrumental instruction to students in grades four and five.

BUSD’s 2014-15 LCAP provided funding for two additional elementary music teachers who now teach weekly general music to grades 2-5 in all district elementary schools. Currently, the 2015-16 LCAP is being developed.

“It is really exciting to see our sites working with their families and the business community to make things happen for our kids,” Flynn added. “Bringing back the BUSD Elementary Music Program was the first major instruction goal of the BUSD Arts for All Plan and program in 2005.”

“Our board stayed the course through the worst budget years and that allowed us to get to where we are now – a major milestone came this year when LCAP provided funding for four elementary music teachers to serve our 11 elementary sites,” she said. “Now schools – like Washington – are better able to collaborate with families and business partners to bring kids greater access to arts education.”

George Washington Elementary School is located at 2322 N. Lincoln St., Burbank, CA 91504. Gates open Friday, May 1, at 5:30 p.m. for And the Beat Goes On. The LEGO Movie screens at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, email brandiyoung@burbankusd.org or peggyflynn@burbankusd.org.

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