Kids Excel El Paso, or KEEP, has a unique method for helping low-income kids in public schools located in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods to excel—through the arts!
What child doesn’t love to dance?! KEEP “recognizes that the arts have a unique power to engage and motivate children.” Founded in 2004, the organization helps “children develop discipline, a standard of excellence and self confidence that will positively impact their education and all aspects of their lives—one dance step at a time.” All programs are free of charge to the children and their families.
“Using the award-winning National Dance Institute (NDI) teaching techniques created over 30 years ago by former NYC Ballet dancer Jacques d’Amboise, KEEP brings its highly-energetic dance program directly into public elementary schools as part of the curriculum teaching students how to work hard, strive for their personal best, and never give up.”
Initially, KEEP was a pilot program with 280 children in three South El Paso schools. Its success and popularity has allowed the organization to grow annually to meet the demand for its dynamic arts education outreach. Impressively, since KEEP was founded it has served over 14,790 children, 897 classroom teachers, and over 189,200 audience members.
Following is a history of KEEP’s program expansion:
- 2004-2005 3 schools and 280 students
- 2005-2006 8 schools and 700 students
- 2006-2007 8 schools and 700 students
- 2007-2008 13 schools and 1,165 students
- 2008-2009 16 schools and 1,400 students
- 2009-2010 23 schools and 1,900 students
- 2010-2011 26 schools and 2,200 students
- 2011-2012 28 schools and 2,500 students
- 2012-2013 30 schools and 2,800 students
- 2013-2014 30 schools and 2,800 students
- 2014-2015 31 schools and 2,900 students
- 2015-2016 32 schools and 3,000 students
Last year, KEEP’s arts education program was taught in 31 schools and expanded to one additional school which added 100 new students for a total of 3,000 students and 170 classroom teachers. Kids Excel El Paso has played such a positive role in the lives of children and is so well received that there is a waiting lists of schools whose principals are eager to add the program to their curriculum.
Kids Excel El Paso participated in the ALON Brands Load The Code contest in the past where the non-profit organization had a chance to win cash to help further its arts education program. ALON Brands is proud to help support local charities, like KEEP, that do so much for their communities and the people who live in them. For more information about KEEP and how you can help support their mission, please visit their website at www.kids-excel.org.