Kids' Orchestra, an after-school music program for elementary school students in East Baton Rouge Parish, is getting $25,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts to fund it 2018-19 school year, according to a news release.
The funding came in an announcement from NEA Chairwoman Jane Chu of more than $80 million in grants, the second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.
Locally, the grant will allow Kids' Orchestra to offer after-school music enrichment programs to 21 students from four public schools in the parish that currently do not offer music programming, the release says. Local music educators and professionals provide music education enrichment to these students twice a week for 26 weeks. Students will receive instrumental training, mentoring and performance opportunities within the program.
“Through the work of organizations such as Kids' Orchestra in Baton Rouge, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are,” said Chu.
Jody Hanet, executive director of Kids' Orchestra, added that the grades of students who participate in the orchestra on average are 15 percent higher than those of students who do not.
"Our program nourishes these students to become leaders of our community," Hanet said.
In its seventh year, the Kids' Orchestra provides nearly 800 students from public, private and charter schools from throughout the parish with the opportunity to study an array of instruments, perform in an ensemble, and/or sing in a choir. To learn more, visit kidsorchestra.org.