HISD Unveils First Winter Fest

The Houston School District unveils its first ever "Winter Fest" Saturday at the George R. Brown Convention Center. It's a holiday celebration for kids, with the goal of raising money to buy musical instruments for needy HISD children. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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Winter Fest will feature rows and rows of booths selling holiday gift items, and entertainment from professional entertainers including Rhythm and Blues superstar Omarian, jazz guitarist Joe Carmouche, hip-hop star J. Xavier, the Houston Symphony Brass Ensemble and the Grammy Award winning Parker Elementary School Choir. Winter Fest Coordinator Lucy Bremond says proceeds will support arts programs in the schools, because the arts have a place in education.

"It helps the kids with their student achievement, it helps them with attendance, it helps them with staying in school and their overall participation level. And we also have seen that grades have improved."

Bremond says they also know that parents are more involved when their children are in an arts program. That's why events such as Winter Fest were what the school board had in mind when it invested nearly $2 million to expand arts programs district wide.

"We know first hand what putting music back into the schools, the difference it has made for the students, and we have a plan in place that will allow us to make sure that some of the schools that do not have musical instruments will have the opportunity to get'em."

HISD's Winter Fest goes from noon till 7pm Saturday at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Tickets cost $5, and children under 12 get in free. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.

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