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PSUSD is the valley’s first “Arts Equity District”

Palm Springs Unified School District has become the Valley’s first “Arts Equity District.” It means art will be accessible to students in all grade levels.

One of the art programs PSUSD offers is the Boys Arts Mentoring program also known as BAM. Bam was started last year as a way to give sixth grade boys extra positive attention. This year they have expanded to 7th graders.

Some of the activities include painting, pop-lock breaking dancing, poetry/ spoken-word poetry, drums and visual arts. Students are divided into groups and rotate working directly with professional artists

For Damien Castro, a 7th grader, describes what he enjoys the most about the BAM program.

“My favorite part is doing the instruments with the instructor to learn about the tribes in Africa and I like that because I want to learn more about it,” says Castro.

Damien Castro has been in the program both years.

“Its helped me because I never knew about that and its fun to learn about new things.”

Late last month, Palm Springs Board of Education made the commitment to become an “Arts Equity District.” The district plans to have equitable access to standards-based arts learning. The commitments will give students the right to fully develop their creative potential at every grade level and engage in arts education that reflects, respects, and builds on student’s culture, language and background.

PSUSD Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator, Barbara Anglin plans to develop a five year strategic plan for the arts and the district’s partnership with the California Alliance for Arts Education and Arts Now.

“I hope what will happen is we continue with our great partnerships with our art partners that we have throughout the Coachella Valley and the programs that our arts teachers are running currently. Then expand to areas that we have gaps in or that we want to strengthen or to grow in and build,” says Anglin.

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KESQ News Team

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