FONTANA, CA – Henry J. Kaiser High School’s theater program was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from NBC and the Educational Theatre Foundation, which recognized the benefit of performing arts programs in school communities.

NBC’s Recognizing and Inspiring Student Expression (RISE) program – inspired by the network’s new drama “Rise,” about the effects of a high school theater department on a small town – awarded half a million dollars to high school theater programs in need across the country.

“Kaiser’s theater students display unparalleled dedication to honing their skills and to celebrating the power of the arts,” Kaiser High Principal Terry Abernathy said. “This grant is a testament to their dedication and love for this program, and we are excited by the opportunities it will provide them to grow as artists.”

Kaiser High is one of 50 high schools in the country – and just one of five in California – out of nearly 1,000 applicants to receive the grant.

To apply, each school submitted a video celebrating its program, a 500-word essay on why the program should win and how the funds would be spent, and a letter of recommendation from a school principal or administrator.

Kaiser High’s drama program consists of five classes, led by teacher Wendi Johnson, and serves approximately 120 students. The program – described by students as more of a family – stages two productions per year. Its spring show, “The Addams Family Musical,” will run April 12-20.

Kaiser High intends to use the grant for props, production expenses and other program necessities, as well as a trip to see “Chicago” at the Fox Theater in Riverside.

“Visual and performing arts are a vital part of a well-rounded education, and we are proud to have award-winning VAPA programs in our schools,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “Congratulations to Kaiser High School on its well-deserved recognition.”


032618_FUSD_THEATER: Henry J. Kaiser High School’s theater program was awarded a $10,000 grant from NBC, which will help fund new props, production expenses and field trips.