BALDWIN PARK – Students in Baldwin Park Unified’s Kenmore Elementary School Cornerstone program received a first-place blue ribbon for their poster, depicting a paper mâché leopard surrounded by cutouts of hands to mimic a jungle, at the eighth annual East San Gabriel Valley (ESGV) SELPA Community Advisory Committee (CAC) Arts Festival on Oct. 24.

More than 180 Baldwin Park Unified special education students celebrated a morning of arts education and engagement with activities ranging from decorating superhero masks to face painting, and making beaded jewelry to yoga.

The arts festival is organized by the ESGV Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA), in partnership with the CAC, and is made up of 10 school districts and six charter schools. SELPA, a statewide consortium that provides special education services, and CAC, a parent and community committee focused on improving outcomes for students in special education, focused this year’s festival theme on “Mighty Forces, Moving Forward Together.”

Kenmore Elementary School’s artwork was on display alongside submissions from Central, De Anza, Foster, Margaret Heath, Vineland and Walnut elementary schools, as well as Olive Middle School. In addition to student artwork, the event featured a live illusion and magic show, storybook reading, dancing and lip-synching, science demonstrations, and a series of stations for students to explore new ways of interacting with art.

Student groups rotated to different tables where they created 3D art, clay sculptures, puppets, tissue paper collage pieces and paper flowers. Outdoors, students could make sidewalk chalk art, dance with bubbles, and play a variety of sports activities.

“This event is a wonderful opportunity for our school communities to come together to showcase and celebrate their creative art achievements, and engage in arts education through hands-on and interactive activities,” Senior Director of Special Education Sarah Ammon said.

Baldwin Park Unified educators sported shirts that read “Your speed doesn’t matter; forward is forward.”

East San Gabriel Valley SELPA launched the Festival of Arts in 2015-16 to create a venue for students to share their art and engage with the broader SELPA community to inspire new ways of creating art.


10.26.22_BPUSD SELPA Arts: Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza joins Kenmore Elementary students as they pose with their first-place creation at the eighth annual East San Gabriel SELPA CAC Festival of the Arts on Oct. 24.