ENGLEWOOD, N.J. – Paterson students will have expanded access to the arts at bergenPAC thanks to a grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities of the New York Tri-State Area.
A $10,000 grant was bestowed on the the Bergen County Performing Arts Center by RMHC NYTSA to continue and expand its Paterson outreach programs and initiatives.
The grant was presented during a tour and ceremony that included McDonald’s Owner Operator Alisa Harrison, RMHC Executive Director Chris Perry, and Linda Dunham, McDonald’s Owner Operator as well as former Ronald McDonald Global Chairwoman and former Board Member of The Performing Arts Center during its tenure as The John Harms Center.
Both bergenPAC, a 501(c)3 non-profit, and RMHC NYTSA are dedicated to providing programming and assistance to underserved youths in the local community, and this most recent support represents only a fraction of the funds raised through their collaboration.
bergenPAC has received over $102,000 in grant funds from the charitable organization that have been used toward schools' services, according to Perry.
bergenPAC began providing programming in the Paterson School district in 2010 and RMHC NYTSA joined operations in 2014 when it began supporting the Paterson programs financially.
The grant will “help bergenPAC continue works on behalf of the young children you serve. The performing arts environment gives the children a home away from home for underserved children, and enhances the well-being of a child,” said Perry.
This recent donation will be utilized at a number of schools within the Paterson District to support education of the arts that translate into critical life skills.
Alexander Diaz, Creative Director at The Performing Arts School at bergenPAC attested to the success of the programs that they “have proven to make significant improvements in students’ confidence, grades, vocabulary, and literacy skills. It is truly because of the support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities that we are afforded this opportunity to continue changing lives.”
Schools that will benefit from the collaboration between the two philanthropic organizations include School #5, New Roberto Clemente School, and JFK Educational Complex.
At each school, bergenPAC plans to establish after-school dance classes for students and an in-school assembly program and a program at the Dr. Frank Napier Jr. School that focuses on anti-bullying awareness and prevention through artistic media such as dance.
bergenPAC’s arts education initiatives occur on-site at its new Performing Arts School building at 1 Depot Square, Englewood, or off-site at other schools.
Through programs, classes, outreach, school shows, and presented shows, the school reaches more than 30,000 students and community youth annually.