Now in its 24th year, the national awards program recognized 830 school districts and 78 schools across 43 states. In Orange County, the Capistrano, Garden Grove, Irvine, La Habra City and Santa Ana unified school districts all made the Best Communities list for 2023, as did the Anaheim Elementary School District and the Anaheim Union High School District.
“Music education, as part of a well-rounded education, has never been more important to unleash students’ creativity and supports emotional health and well-being as they build connections through music activities,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation.
The districts earned the designation based on the administrators, teachers and community leaders who support and sustain music education. Through the pandemic, these districts remained committed to music education so that all children could explore and express themselves through music.
“Our Board has a long history of supporting music education because of the power it has to enrich the lives of our students,” said Garden Grove Unified School District board member Bob Harden. “We are proud of our amazing music teachers and the exceptional quality of our visual and performing arts programs.”
In addition, less than 80 schools in the country received the SupportMusic Merit Award from the NAMM Foundation for their commitment to music education. They include Ethel Dwyer Middle School from the Huntington Beach City School District and Golden Hill School for Creative and Performing Arts in the Fullerton School District.
Since its inception, more than 2,000 schools and districts have submitted a survey for evaluation. To learn more about the Best Communities for Music Education program or the NAMM Foundation, visit www.nammfoundation.org.