Compton Unified School District’s (CUSD) King Elementary School students performed for First Lady Michelle Obama, Wednesday, May 25, at the White House’s Turnaround Arts Talent Show. Nine talented sixth-graders from King Elementary, the only California school performing, wrote an original poem to share with the First Lady and invited guests at the event in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, Whaley Middle School has been announced as a new Turnaround Arts school that will receive support for more art and music education programs to help boost student achievement.
“It’s a great day in Compton when we see our scholars are performing for the First Lady in the White House,” said Satra Zurita, President of the Compton School Board.
“Compton Unified is very proud of its partnership with Turnaround Arts to bring arts education to King Elementary, and now we look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have at Whaley Middle School,” said CUSD Superintendent Darin Brawley.
“To see our students representing not only their state, but also Compton schools in the White House is yet another reminder of the progress we’ve made to ensure our students are ready to compete in the 21st century.”
Principal Stephanie Richardson said that aside from visiting the White House, the experience of seeing the nation’s capital will leave a lasting impression on her students.
“It’s been amazing for them to be in Washington, D.C., and the White House, which are full of American history. Our students will remember this incredibly enriching and educational field trip for a long time.”
Principal Candice Waters said she looks forward to inspiring Whaley Middle School students through art and music programs with Turnaround Arts in the upcoming school year.
“Our new partnership with Turnaround Arts will help us tap into the creative potential of our students while motivating them to academically succeed,” she said.
“The arts have the power to inspire and guide our students towards college and careers, and that’s our goal at Whaley.”
Turnaround Arts is a national program created by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in coordination with the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, and several foundations and corporations.
The program helps schools close the achievement gap through innovative arts, dance, theater and music programs that are integrated into core subjects including math, English, and science.
It also provides arts resources, musical instruments, and high-profile artist mentors to help inspire students to discover their creative potential.
Since 2011, Turnaround Arts has empowered 27 school districts across 13 states and Washington, D.C. with an infusion of arts and music education.