MONTEBELLO – Selected as one of only 10 schools in the region designated as a Wallis Focus School, Montebello Unified’s Greenwood Elementary School has provided its students, teachers and staff, parents and families with the opportunity to learn in and through the arts thanks to a grant by the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, located in Beverly Hills.
As part of the grant, The Wallis offers 300 tickets for two student matinee performances with transportation, professional development sessions and workshops to help teachers and staff integrate and support arts education in the classroom. The grant also includes a ‘Career in the Arts’ event where eight fifth-graders were selected by their teachers to travel on March 16 to the Center to learn more about potential careers in the arts.
“We are so proud to offer our students the chance to not only experience theater and live performances, but to participate in arts education with their teachers and families,” Montebello Unified Board President Benjamin Cárdenas said. “This grant and all those who worked to make it a reality for the Greenwood community illustrate our ongoing commitment to arts education, in the classroom and out.”
Nearly all Greenwood students saw a show by internationally acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel on Feb. 26 and will be bussed to see the theater production “The Girl who Forgot to Sing Badly” April 26. Two teacher workshops at The Wallis preceded the performances so that instructors could prepare students to think critically about the show’s themes.
“Our students are benefitting immensely from this exposure to the arts, which stimulates their creativity, encourages their self-expression, and opens a door to a world they didn’t know existed,” fifth-grade teacher and grant writer Sara Aguilar said.
Additionally, the Wallis grant offers all Greenwood teachers the chance to participate in professional development sessions that cover key topics in the integration of arts education into the classroom. Skilled teaching artists from The Wallis will also visit the school throughout the year to support student learning, teacher development and family engagement.
“We strive to give our students the best educational experience and it is always improved when the opportunity affords their families to participate,” Greenwood Elementary Principal Bibi Alvarado said. “We are so grateful to Wallis Annenberg for their partnership in helping us afford our students and their families opportunity.”
Students are also encouraged to bring along their parents during a designated weekend performance. Tickets and transportation are free of charge. The performance, “The Lightning Thief”, is scheduled for April 9.
“As we provide a comprehensive education to our students that includes the arts, our community partnerships are vital in connecting us to unique opportunities for our students and helping us to provide learning experiences that benefit our entire District community,” Montebello Unified Superintendent Susanna Contreras Smith said. “Thank you to our Greenwood Elementary teachers, staff and administrators for their effort in securing this special grant.”
Housed in a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world’s most talented and sought-after artists. With eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles, and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the US and around the globe.
MUSDWALLIS1: Montebello Unified’s Greenwood Elementary School was selected as one of only 10 schools designated as a Wallis Focus School, which provides students, teachers and staff, parents and families with the opportunity to learn in and through the arts; students pictured here with Director of Education at Wallis Annenberg Center Mark Slavkin and MUSD chaperone Ofelia Torres on Career in the Arts Day on March 16.
MUSDWALLIS2: Montebello Unified’s Greenwood Elementary School was selected as one of only 10 schools designated as a Wallis Focus School, which provides students, teachers and staff, parents and families with the opportunity to learn in and through the arts; students pictured here learning about set design and theater layout on Career in the Arts Day on March 16.