One of the benefits of homeschooling is the opportunity to focus on your child’s strengths. I have one child who is extremely gifted in the arts, and as a homeschooling family, we tailor her education to include a lot of music.
Not all families have this benefit. I realize we are very blessed. My heart goes out to kids who are artistically minded, yet have no opportunity to take classes that support their gift. With schools cutting their programs to the bare bones, many public schools don’t have art & music programs at all. In fact, 29 percent of all public schools in California are without art programs.
The problem is compounded in inner city schools like Los Angeles Unified School District, where only 48% of African-American and Latino students who begin 9th grade actually go on to graduate. 48%. That is a low number. Would the number be higher if kids were engaged in activities that fostered creativity, rather than left alone to amuse themselves after school? Maybe, maybe not, but art & music certainly provide a more well rounded education.
Inner-City Arts is an organization in Los Angeles’ skid row that aims to help children in just that way. Kids are bussed from their public schools to take art, music, drama, and more. Funded entirely by grants and donations, Inner-City Arts aims to serve a community that could use a little hope.
By providing a safe, creative place for kids to express themselves, Inner-City Arts helps keep kids off the streets and away from drugs, gangs, and crime. Kids who might otherwise fall through the cracks of the system are encouraged to pursue education, artistic expression, and perhaps even college.
This morning the Today Show teamed up with Walmart to bless the socks off this organization. With the Today Show cameras rolling, representatives of Walmart donated computers for graphic design, costumes for drama, and basic art supplies to help Inner-City Arts continue to serve the community.
In addition, Walmart gifted each graduating senior with $100 to ease their transition into adulthood and gave all of the other kids a bag of Christmas goodies!
Watch as Bob Bates, the co-founder and artistic director of Inner-City Arts, describes the organization and how Walmart’s donation will hep the program.
It’s moments like these that make me proud to be a Walmart Mom! Thanks for your generosity, Walmart!