26.7% of the children in Los Angeles live in poverty, which can lead to homelessness and violence. Thanks to our partner Youth Policy Institute, through the “Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood” initiative, Create Now is providing 92 children who are 3 and 4-years-old with a unique program called "Ready to Learn" at Santa Monica Blvd. Community Charter School in East Hollywood for 12 weeks. Only 30% of these kids are proficient in English and 64% are English Language Learners.
Molly White is teaching them how to keep a steady beat by using drums, rattles and other tools since research shows that music and reading are related via common neural and cognitive mechanisms. Studies reveal that a child's ability to distinguish musical rhythm is related to his or her capacity for understanding grammar.
The kids sing special songs that use rhythm, while also learning about numbers and shapes. Teacher Ms. Montages reports, "The kids are extremely engaged. I hear them singing the songs they learned all day long." She has been receiving feedback from parents that their children are talking about the music classes at home and singing the songs.
Molly remarked, "I introduced rhythm patterns with combinations of different notes. Many of the children are now able to perform the rhythms using our beautiful drums and percussion instruments. They have become good listeners, allowing for a few quiet moments with opened ears and big smiles. They show their appreciation with hugs at the end of class." As with all Create Now programs, all the children received gift bags with lasting souvenirs.
Check out this short video about our "Ready to Learn" program: