Vancouver Public Schools recently was honored with a Best Communities for Music Education award from the nonprofit National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. The award recognizes commitment and dedication to music and the arts as part of a well-rounded education. VPS is one of 623 districts across the nation and one of just five in Washington state to be recognized.

VPS’ award-winning and nationally recognized staff leads comprehensive music programs across the district. Vancouver offers musical opportunities to all students from kindergarten through 12th grade, including general music instruction, band, choir, orchestra, music recording, musical theater, extracurricular classes and programs and an arts school. Dedicated arts funding, district-level coordination, professional development for teachers, an instrument inventory, auditorium spaces and artist visits support and enrich the opportunities for students. VPS schools also benefit from strong community engagement in music education through support from music booster clubs, local colleges and performing groups and nonprofit organizations. While many districts cut arts programs during the Great Recession, VPS expanded arts access and opportunities.

“We consider arts part of the core curriculum, and music education is flourishing in Vancouver Public Schools,” said Superintendent Steve Webb. “Thanks to the commitment of our students and their families, the dedication of our staff and the support from the community, music enriches learning and gives students unique opportunities for creativity and expression.”

The NAMM Foundation, supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants, advances active participation in music making by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.