Arts for Learning San Diego Celebrates YA Week with Poetry and Breakdancing Performances at OBE Spring Carnival

National Young Audiences Arts for Learning Week 2018 (YA Week) was celebrated across the YA Network from March 25 – April 7. YA’s affiliate organizations across the country observed YA Week with a variety of special events, open classrooms, and other initiatives, to raise awareness of YA and the importance of arts-in-education.

A4LSD staff member Natalia Valerdi-Rogers with OBE's PTA president Jamie Pourhamidi

Young Audiences’ Southern California-based affiliate, Arts for Learning San Diego (A4LSD), celebrated YA Week with longstanding partner, Ocean Beach Elementary (OBE), at the school’s spring Carnival event. A4LSD has been serving the students of OBE, located in Ocean Beach, California, for over 10 years. The partnership began with assemblies, grew with the addition of the Family Arts Nights program, and now, every student at OBE receives 24 weeks of art instruction in dance, poetry, visual arts, and theatre. Over the years, parents and teachers witnessed the school climate improve, standardized test scores increase, and more refined skills in communication, collaboration, and critical thinking among the students.

“We believe so strongly in the importance of the arts that we have made ‘Expressive Kids’ one of the four pillars of our school,” said Jaimie Holcomb, Expressive Arts Coordinator, OBE PTA, and mother of two “Expressive Kids.”

As a result of the partnership, OBE became one of a handful of schools to receive the Distinguished School Award in 2014. OBE also received an award for Exemplary Arts Education Programming. Thanks to generous funding from the California Arts Council and the Ocean Beach PTA, a comprehensive arts education for all students in grades K-4 continues to thrive at OBE. 

The outstanding arts education that students at OBE receive was showcased during YA Week at the school’s Spring Carnival event, which was held on April 6, 2018, at OBE. Third and fourth grade students showed off what they learned through A4LSD programming in breakdancing and poetry reading performances. 

Teaching Artist Jim Hornsby Moreno, who has been working with A4LSD since 2004, instructed the 3rd grade students in poetry. The students kick off each poetry lesson by forming a circle of peace. The students are then asked to accept Mr. Moreno’s respect for them, respect for themselves, respect for anyone in the circle who is not from their culture, and respect for families. From this circle of respect, students feel safe to develop poetry that speaks from the heart.

The Fourth grade students were instructed in breakdancing by teaching artist Mister Dyno. In Mr. Dyno’s class, students are introduced to one of the original elements of Hip Hop known as “Breakin’.” In class, students practice values such as doing your best, individual expression, and working together to develop a positive culture, where they are comfortable exploring new moves that express their individual style, emotions, and creativity.

Jim Hornsby Moreno
A4LSD Teaching Artists Jim Hornsby Moreno and Mister Dyno.

For more information on A4LSD and their talented team of teaching artists, visit: 


Add new comment