Fifth grader Roxanne Millan and fourth grader Marifar Lopez stand at the front of Whittier Elementary School's library to play a couple of songs on their flutes. They're just two of roughly 7,000 Houston Independent School District students who will benefit from a new collaboration with the Kennedy Center.
So, what does this announcement mean, exactly?
"The way that the partnership works is that each site has access to my team of experts for planning, strategy, facilitation, protocols, implementation, and on-the-ground site visits," says Mario Rossero from the Kennedy Center.
He adds that the center chose Houston because of the work it's done with the city's Arts Access Initiative — they're a group that works with HISD to increase academic performance through various arts programs.
Whittier Elementary principal Lori Lueptow explains that the impact can be felt within a wide spectrum of subjects.
"So a teacher that teaches math, for instance, how can she incorporate the arts into her math curriculum?"
The program includes ten HISD elementary schools and one middle school, with plans to add more over the next few years.