Paramount, CA – Zamboni Middle School will hire a full-time dance instructor and expand its performing arts program as part of a partnership with Turnaround Arts: California, co-founded by renowned architect Frank Gehry, which will provide up to $10,000 in annual financial support, helping to ensure arts education for every Zamboni student.

Turnaround Arts is a national program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and was created in 2011 under the leadership of First Lady Michelle Obama. Turnaround Arts: California is the regional administrator of the program and will provide teacher training, a regional coach to facilitate Zamboni’s strategic arts plan and coordinated support for public arts events.

“Zamboni has a vision of providing all students an opportunity to draw from their creativity and imagination to become leaders within our community,” Zamboni Principal Sue Saikaly said. “We could not have entered into this amazing partnership without the critical support of the District and the hard work and dedication of the Zamboni faculty and staff.”

Zamboni hosts arts and music classes for a third of its student population. A dance instructor, partnering with physical education teachers, will enable access to the arts for all students. An Arts Leadership Team consisting of PE, music and art teachers, a language arts teacher, a counselor and an administrator will meet regularly and advise the school leadership team on projects.

Zamboni’s dance instructor will be funded through PUSD’s 2018-19 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).

The partnership with Turnaround Arts: California will complement existing arts programs developed since Zamboni reintroduced arts curriculum nine years ago. Such programs include: the Jazz Angels, which provide professional musicians to tutor sixth-grade beginning music students, and the annual Traditional Artists Guild (TAG) of Paramount art show, which features work from intermediate art students.

“Paramount Unified acknowledges the significant role art education plays in developing a well-rounded curriculum that prepares our students to succeed in college and career, increasing their real-world problem solving abilities,” Paramount Unified Superintendent Dr. Ruth Pérez said.

Turnaround Arts: California was created in 2014 with financial support from Berta and Frank Gehry and the California Arts Council and recently received a $2 million investment to expand its network to now include 27 schools and more than 17,000 students across California, providing art resources, musical instruments, high-profile mentors and teacher training.

“Over the last forty years, I’ve spent time with kids in the classroom using architecture and art to get them engaged, focus their attention, and even introduce mathematics, civics, and other subjects that they might not have otherwise been receptive to,” Gehry said. “This inspired me to create the same opportunities for the California students who need it most through Turnaround Arts: California.”

Turnaround Arts partner schools have seen boosts in English language arts and math proficiency, increased student engagement for arts-integrated instruction, increased attendance, declining suspension rates and increased family participation in art events.

“Congratulations to Zamboni Middle School for this tremendous opportunity to expand the creative and performance abilities of their students through their partnership with Turnaround Arts: California,” Paramount Unified Board President Vivian Hansen said.


042618_PARAMOUNT_TURNAROUND: Zamboni Middle School will bolster its art curriculum and resources through a new partnership with Turnaround Arts: California.