BANK OF AMERICA RHODE ISLAND PRESIDENT Bill Hatfield, rear, watches as students from George J. West Elementary School in Providence on a field trip this past Tuesday listen to an educator at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art. Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts sits beside him. The bank has provided a $10,000 grant for a Big Yellow School Bus program offered by The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.
COURTESY REINHARD SOKOL
By Patricia Daddona PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – A $10,000 grant from Bank of America Rhode Island to the R.I. State Council on the Arts for its Big Yellow School Bus program is helping ensure that students can attend arts and cultural events during the school year.
On Tuesday, Bank of America Rhode Island president Bill Hatfield and Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts joined students from the George J. West Elementary School in Providence as they participated in an educational program at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, one of many offerings supported by the program.
This is the third year funding has been provided, said Randall Rosenbaum, council executive director. The grant came through last November, he added, and has been used for the program since then.
“The Rhode Island School of Design is an important institution for the arts community around the world – and we're lucky to have it right here in our backyard,” said Bill Hatfield, Rhode Island president for Bank of America. “The Big Yellow School Bus program connects students from financially-challenged schools and districts to cultural institutions like the RISD Museum, and will hopefully inspire these children to a lifelong love of the arts.”
Rosenbaum and Roberts thanked the bank for its support.
“Rhode Island has a wealth of arts and cultural events and programming for young people that otherwise would be inaccessible, if not for the Big Yellow School Bus program,” Roberts said, “We so appreciate that Bank of America recognizes the importance of arts in education, and we thank them for their generosity in helping to connect Rhode Island's youth to these wonderful opportunities.”
Since 2010, the program has helped facilitate field trips to museums, concert halls and theaters across the state, at a time when many schools cutting back on field trips out of economic necessity, Rosenbaum said.
RISCA has awarded over $41,000 to schools throughout Rhode Island since its inception, providing transportation to over 17,300 students and 1,275 teachers and adults to attend and participate in arts education opportunities throughout the state. Bank of America's funding has been critical to the success of the program, Rosenbaum said.
“Creative partnerships and support of programs such as RISCA's Big Yellow School Bus make learning directly from original works of art and design possible,” added Sarah Ganz Blythe, director of Education at the RISD Museum.