Community School of the Arts Awarded Grant for Community Outreach Program

April 14, 2016

Community School of the Arts at Wheaton College (CSA) was recently awarded a generous grant from the JCS Fund of The DuPage Foundation.

The grant will help sustain CSA’s Community Outreach for Developing Artists program (CODA), which provides free music and visual arts instruction to more than 1600 students in 12 locations in DuPage County. CODA’s programming includes early childhood music classes, Suzuki violin and recorder classes and visual arts programs for early childhood and senior citizens.

CODA, which was founded in 2006, partners with Marquardt School District 15 in Glendale Heights, Queen Bee Schools District 16 in Glendale Heights, and West Chicago Elementary School District 33 to provide arts access to young, underexposed talents who might not otherwise have the opportunity to develop their creative abilities. It reaches across racial and economic barriers in order to use the arts for holistic student development by building language proficiency, cultural awareness, character, and emotional well-being.

The program also conducts classes for immigrant and refugee children at the World Relief DuPage Preschool in Wheaton and works with the Addison and West Chicago Park Districts to provide visual arts classes for senior citizens.

“We are grateful that the JCS Fund enables us to serve so many students in DuPage County. Without the CODA Program, many students in the districts we serve would lack musical and artistic access,” says Carol McNeil, Administrator of the CODA program. “The JCS Fund understands the long term, trajectory-changing benefits of high-quality, ongoing instruction in the arts. We are honored that JCS entrusts us with this task. Like Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, founder of the Suzuki Method, CODA believes that through arts instruction, we help develop the heart and character of students.”