Monrovia's Wild Rose Elementary School, a Gold Ribbon School, was honored today for its Exemplary Arts Education Program Award and as a Title I Achieving School by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
Of 5,580 elementary schools in California only 38 were honored for having Exemplary Programs in Arts Education or Physical Education. Last month, Torlakson honored 779 schools with the Gold Ribbon Award, and Wild Rose was one of the recipients. Of those schools, 496 received the Title I Achieving Schools Award, and Wild Rose received that honor as well.
At Wild Rose, students are exposed to dance, instrumental music, choir, vocal lessons, drama, and visual arts. Ninety students in grades 1-5 are preparing for a drama production of "School House Rock Jr. Live" on May 19 at 6 PM and May 20 at 9:20 AM, 10:40 AM, and 6:00 PM in the school's cafeteria. The production is being coordinated by the music teacher, the office manager, and a retired teacher. The production is based on the award-winning 1970s cartoons which features fast-paced musical lessons with clever, catchy tunes to support history, grammar, and many other academic concepts.
All fourth grade students participate in a dance program one hour per week through the California Dance Institute (CDI). The Boone Foundation, a private and local donor that supports arts education in the area, funds this program to schools with low socioeconomic demographics who also have a high percentage of English language learners. This $10,000 gift allows the students access to an experience they may not be able to afford outside of the school setting. Thirty students participate in an after school dance club called SWAT and will perform in a culmination performance on June 2 at 4:00 PM and 6:30 PM at Clifton Middle School.
Students at Wild Rose receive visual arts instruction weekly. The school district and the school's PTA fund two visual arts teachers. As you drive by the perimeter of the school, you see three murals painted by fifth graders as the annual tradition of leaving their mark on their school. These murals are done in the likeness of famous masterpieces at the Huntington Library.
In Torlakson's press release, he stated,"I'm delighted to honor these schools and programs which are doing a tremendous job preparing our students for 21st century opportunities and graduating lifelong learners in the process." Likewise, Stacy Ayers, Wild Rose School Principal stated, "We are so proud our students have the opportunity to show off their talents and creativity when test scores are so often the focus in schools. It's important to give all students a chance to shine and showcase their strengths."
Wild Rose has about 525 students, approximately 78% of whom are disadvantaged. One-third of the students speak English as a second language. Despite these challenges, Wild Rose is a California Gold Ribbon School and a four time award winning Golden Bell School.
Source: Wild Rose press release
- Brad Haugaard