Young, Gifted and Underprivileged - Warrington Arts Development Project
Pensacola Delta Enrichment Center, Inc.
The mission of the Pensacola Delta Enrichment Center (PDEC) is to develop programs that focus on enhancing and improving the lives of those in the Belmont-DeVilliers Neighborhood and the greater Pensacola Community. The PDEC began as a large group of volunteers from the Belmont-DeVilliers neighborhood who were ready to implement educational programs and services for senior citizens but they had little funding. These volunteers found out about two community programs with funding available: the Governor’s Front Porch Initiative and the City’s Weed and Seed Program. Realizing that these programs had similar goals and objectives, the volunteers formed Pensacola Delta Enrichment Center, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization in 2002. Grants from these community programs enabled the PDEC to fund Delta Academy, a mentoring program for girls in middle school and Delta GEMS, a similar mentoring program for high school girls. PDEC also provides senior services such as We Care Breakfast and various workshops. Through partnerships with neighboring public schools PDEC provides book fairs, health fairs, neighborhood clean ups and summer enrichment programs for youth in grades K-5 through 6th grade. They also serve as a disaster supply site as needed and a food bank site for the needy at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
IMPACT 100 funds will be used to launch the Young, Gifted and Underprivileged (YGU) project in cooperation with the Music Department at Warrington Middle School. This project is intended to further enhance the growth and development of Warrington Middle School students' knowledge, love, and appreciation for the arts. Funds will be used to purchase music for the musical library, create a piano lab with 24 student stations, build a percussion instrument repertoire, purchase marching band instruments, pay for instructors and transportation. Band uniforms will also be purchased, giving the appearance of unification. The Escambia County School District will match up to $16,000 for uniform costs, allowing PDEC to leverage IMPACT 100 funds. This project will support the Warrington Middle School Band through field trips to art and cultural events in the Greater Pensacola area, skill development through Summer Arts Camp, and increased access to perform and display their skills at competitions and cultural festivals in and around the state of Florida.
The Pensacola Delta Enrichment Center expects that the impact of the Warrington Arts Development Project on the youth participants will be positive growth in academic proficiencies, social skills and behaviors and an increase of school pride and unification for Warrington Middle School students. Additionally, they anticipate increased support and advocacy for the School through participation in PTA and potential to establish a band Booster Club. Research has found that students with high arts involvement performed better on standardized achievement tests than students with low arts involvement. Students who take music in middle school score significantly higher on algebra assignments in 9th grade. Schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2% graduation rate and 93.9% attendance rates compared to schools without music education, which average 72.9% graduation and 84.9% attendance rates. Nearly 23% of the residents of this area are under the age of 18, and are in need of activities that will provide them supervision, structure, and most importantly cultural expression. With these statistics, it is critical to provide resources to the community for its children. It is the hope of the PDEC that through exposing the Warrington Middle School Band students to a diverse set of musical practitioners, the students will be taught and inspired to pursue the arts in the future.