First published in the Oct. 23 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
The Burbank Arts & Education Foundation recently announced it has funded all of the applications submitted during its second cycle of grant giving.
The foundation made investments in social and emotional learning, diversity in classroom libraries, teaching artists and coaches, creative and innovative instructional materials, and necessary auditorium upgrades.
Foundation co-chair Ana Connell and Grants and Giving chair Alexandra Helfrich presented grant funding in the amount of $57,244 to Burbank Unified Schools at the Board of Education meeting Thursday, Oct. 21.
In a statement, Connell and Helfrich said, “We are pleased to be able to support a robust variety of applications from most of our school sites. Especially inspiring is the innovation and excellence demonstrated by educators who bring diverse projects, materials and ideas to their students. We’re proud to partner with the Burbank Unified School District in making improvements to school auditoriums, and piloting assistive technology software to support special education students, as well as programs that help students make the transition back to campus with social and emotional learning strategies, among the many other exciting programs.”
BUSD Superintendent Matt Hill praised the foundation for its longtime support.
“The support of the Burbank Arts & Education Foundation provides opportunities to grow and enrich programs in our schools as well as assist the district to bridge education funding gaps,” he said. “Community support for their work is critical and I encourage everyone to donate to the foundation.”
Highlights from these investments include elementary level support for dance and instrumental music instruction; hands on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) supplies and materials; books for classroom libraries to support high-level readers, social and emotional learning, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, so that students may see themselves and learn about others; school sustainability efforts; yoga and mindfulness; visual arts teaching artists along with supplies and materials; and auditorium upgrades.
The foundation is especially pleased to support a technology pilot program to assist special education students with writing and reading comprehension throughout all middle schools. Other middle school support includes learning to code with robots, instrumental music coaching, classroom libraries, supplies and materials for lessons about ancient Egypt, the beginning of the printing press, and a mosaic mural teaching artist with supplies and materials for on-campus installation.
Support for high schools is provided by funding for acoustic panels to transform a STEAM lab into more usable space, supplies and materials for culinary arts, equipment to set up an aquarium for marine biology classes, and critical auditorium upgrades.