Thousand Oaks has partnered with the Museum of Children’s Art since 2006 to provide a combination of hands-on art lessons for students and professional learning opportunities for teachers. The PTA pays for MOCHA art lessons for each grade.
Musical fun is something we take seriously here at Thousand Oaks!
There's our city-wide, super-cool musical connection to the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra. First comes a fun “Meet the Orchestra” concert in the school’s multipurpose room, introducing the orchestral instruments and basic musical concepts, followed by later classroom visits from orchestra members. Then the kids begin to build their musicianship; kindergarteners learn to sing a song about the different instruments, first graders construct their own rhythm instruments out of found objects, (cardboard paper towel tubes, rubber bands, plastic eggs full of gravel or beans.)
In third grade, children are given their very own starter instrument; the recorder. Fourth and fifth graders choose a stringed, brass or woodwind instrument to borrow from the school district for the year, which they take home to practice. Then, a BUSD music teacher comes twice a week to give them musical instruction. In the Spring comes the big “I am a Performer” concert, where all the kids strut their musical stuff with the Berkeley Symphony as a back-up band!
In addition, we are fortunate to have Lisa Zeiler (“Lisa Z.”) visit our classrooms every week and sing with the students. She plays guitar and gives every child a song book. The children look forward to her visits week after week.
Who pays for all this? The musical instruments and instruction are provided by Berkeley Unified School district, paid for with our parcel tax (a.k.a. “BSEP” – Berkeley Schools Excellence Project) The visits from the Berkeley Symphony are funded by grants from the Berkeley Public Education Foundation (BPEF) and other donors to the Symphony.
And the supplemental instruction for grades K-2 are paid for by our very own PTA, as well as BPEF.
Thank you, Berkeley Taxpayers, Berkeley Public Education Foundation, Berkeley Symphony, and TOPTA!