Getting to the Heart of Christmas

 

I love stories about companies reaching out at Christmas to help charity organizations in whatever way they can – big or small. Here’s a story about a recent effort from Walmart to combat the decline of the Arts in public schools.

Did you know that 29 percent of California public schools offer no study in the arts at all??? With budget cuts eliminating arts programs in California, most students do not receive art instruction at the level required by state law.

My daughter just started 1st grade, and I know she loves her time in music and art class. They are her favorite subjects and for most kids, the arts provide an  outlet for creativity vs. a more rigid academic environment – plus as an extracurricular activity, the arts are a wonderful area for children to explore, succeed, and build their self confidence. I can’t imagine if my kids weren’t able to have art or music included in their school curriculum. Including these subjects let’s children find their strengths in whatever area they might naturally have more ability plus the general instruction makes you so much more well rounded.

For a really staggering statistic,  students in the Los Angeles Unified School District are among the most at-risk to drop out with only 48 percent of African-American and Latino students who start 9th grade graduating four years later.

Located across the street from Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles, Inner City Arts is a diamond in the rough, providing a safe outlet for kids from some of the hardest areas of Los Angeles – and giving them a chance to explore their creativity and hopefully keep them out of trouble and on track all around.

Walmart and the Today Show teamed up together to showcase the amazing work happening at the Inner City Arts and to make some serious donations to benefit the group and kids as a huge Christmas surprise.

As part of the Getting to the Heart of Christmas series, Walmart and the Today Show surprised students and instructors at Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles with the creative tools needed to keep the children dreaming, drawing, photographing, acting and more

 Walmart surprised 180 elementary school children and their teachers with a stage full of needed items for the center – from computers for graphic design and “costumes” for dramatic arts to basic supplies. In addition, each student will walk away with a gift from Walmart including arts supplies and a toy. Walmart will also be providing a $100 gift card to the graduating seniors of the program to help make their transition a little easier, as well as a $5,000 donation to the teachers and center.

Here’s  a special video below with the Today Show Correspondant, Miguel about his experience covering this story and how Walmart and the Today Show teamed up to impact the lives of these students and the Inner City Arts Center in LA.

Walmart Interview (Miguel) from CW Los Angeles on Vimeo.

You can check out the segment about Walmart and the Today Show that aired today here. http://news.walmart.com/getting-to-the-heart-of-christmas-2012

Disclosure: I’m a member of the Walmart Moms community and this is a sponsored post to share Walmart’s & the Today Show’s efforts to make a difference. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

About Colleen Padilla

Colleen Padilla, the founder and editor of ClassyMommy.com lives in the Philly suburbs and is a full time mom for her 2 children, Mackenzie (7) and Kyle (5). Colleen and the Classy Mommy website have been featured on Fox News, Good Morning America, The New York Times, Parenting Magazine, The New York Post, local Philadelphia ABC, CBS, and NBC programs. Colleen has appeared in a TV special about Alpha Moms on South Korea’s NBC affiliate SBS. She also co-authored The Digital Mom Handbook (HarperCollins).

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