Equity & Access to the Arts for Pre-K-8 Grade Students in Fresno Unified
In September of 2012, Fresno became the tenth national site for the John F. Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child Initiative. The vision of the Kennedy Center’s President Michael Kaiser is that an entire community should be engaged in addressing the need for access and equity to arts education for students across an entire school district. The Any Given Child program is designed to assist a community in planning strategically to provide a high quality arts education for every K-8 student using the existing resources of the school district, city government and the local arts community aided by the Kennedy Center. Because of the high level of community support and Fresno Unified School District's commitment to improving its arts education program, the district was encouraged to apply for this prestigious national program.
Why are the arts important to Fresno? Research shows that high quality arts programs offer incredible benefits to students, schools and communities: better attendance, higher grades, improved test scores, higher engagement, brighter job prospects and more self-confidence to name just a few.
In the fall of 2012, the Fresno Community Arts Team came together on behalf of Fresno Unified School District, to support the Kennedy Center’s efforts to ensure the arts for Any Given Child. Now, in August 2013, the Community Arts Team is pleased to share the results of the project’s first phase including their vision, goals and an action plan for 2013-14. Together, the Any Given Child partners and the Fresno community are committed to ensuring that each Pre-K-8 grade student has a complete arts education as part of their ongoing public school experience.