African Music and Dance Extended Day Program

“I am proposing a partnership with Arts Corps that will bring diverse arts into the school. Specifically, I would like to bring an African Music and Dance Program into the school.” ~ Andrea Gardner, Teacher, White Center Heights Elementary School

African Music and Dance Extended Day Program

Students at White Center Heights Elementary school learn about the rhythm, history, and traditions of African drumming with teacher Abdoulaye Syllah, a world-renowned musician and teacher.

White Center Heights Elementary is focused on offering experiences and opportunities for the students that will supplement their academic success. During Extended Day Programs we have the ability to provide extracurricular activities that enhance student enthusiasm as well as build confidence and esteem. Providing these opportunities and experiences in the Extended Day Program is often the only opportunity students and families have to participate in extracurricular activities.

Thanks to an Excel Grant Andrea received last fall, White Center Heights Elementary was able to offer African Music and Dance through Arts Corps to their students. Students learned about the rhythm, history, and traditions of African drumming with teacher was Abdoulaye Syllah, a world-renowned musician and teacher. Under his guidance the students had the opportunity to perform at the Arts Corps annual fund-raiser which took place on March 21st at Showbox SODO where they performed for a large audience. Additionally, the students were able to perform at an all school assembly on March 28th. It was easy to see the pride and sense of accomplishment that the students felt after each performance. We will be offering this class again.

The Faculty Development Manager at Arts Corps sent Andrea a very nice anecdote about the big event (annual Arts Corps Fund raiser) where the White Center Heights students performed: “Your kids were FANTASTIC!!!! They drummed, danced with fully energy. I checked with one student in the greenroom before the show, and she said she was afraid. I asked her if she was proud of what she has learned, and she said yeah!!! Seeing her happiness I said – so… when you get on that stage, people will cheer because what you are doing, many of them can’t. She smiled back. Later she was performing on stage like she had been done that forever.”

African Music and Dance Extended Day ProgramArts Corps is a local non-profit that partners with schools to offer high quality arts education. They strive to demonstrate the transformative impact on learning, teaching and school culture that comes from high quality arts learning. Arts Corps offers arts instruction provided by professional teaching artists in myriad art forms including dance, music, visual arts, spoken word, and theatre.

Additional! We just heard from Andrea and the group of students performed again last week at The Broadway Performance Hall as part of the Arts Corps Annual Showcase where tudents from all over the Seattle area who participate in Arts Corps classes performed on stage.  White Center Heights students did not disappoint and they put on an EPIC performance!

White Center Heights Elementary students at The Broadway Performance Hall

White Center Heights Elementary students at The Broadway Performance Hall as part of the Arts Corps Annual Showcase.

African Music and Dance Extended Day Program - performance at Broadway performace hall

African Music and Dance Extended Day Program - performance at Broadway performace hall


How can you help? We welcome all levels of donation, whether it’s a one-time gift or a monthly donation – $5.00 or $500 – every gift is a GREAT gift and so much appreciated in support of the students and teachers in Highline Public Schools. Click HERE to make a donation today!

Since 1999, the Highline Schools Foundation has been supporting innovation and excellence in Highline Public Schools. Our funding priorities focus on programs to improve academic achievement, supporting college and career readiness, grants to teachers for engaging classroom projects, the arts, athletics, and programs that keep students in school and productive. Highline is a district full of need and opportunity. The Highline Schools Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated to all schools in our district—our goal is to help as many students as possible be successful!

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