Bank of America Funds CLASS Art and Literacy Programs for Youth in Downtown Pomona


Bank of America Funds CLASS Art and Literacy Programs for Youth in Downtown Pomona
Instructor Patrick Tanuada works with students during cartooning class at the Summer Arts Academy at the Cal Poly Pomona Downtown Center.
Provost Tomas Morales and Dean Barbara Way accept a $15,000 check from Lynn Fernandez and Kevin Malson of the Bank of America Foundation. The gift will help fund art and literacy programs at the Cal Poly Pomona Downtown Center.

The College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences (CLASS) recently received a gift of $15,000 from the Bank of America Foundation for after school and summer programs for youth. The funding will help to support CLASS's Academy for Literacy Through the Arts program and assist in providing fee waivers for students with financial needs.

Academy for Literacy Through the Arts, a program headquartered at the Cal Poly Pomona Downtown Center, utilizes an innovative approach to learning. Students engage in artistic courses that teach them life and job skills while learning to read, write and communicate more effectively.

Artists, writers, teachers, professors and college students teach classes such as cartooning, pastels, Web design, introduction to theater, theater make-up and mask making, and the technical aspects of theater.  Instructors have included local photographer Debra Martin, who is also a Pomona Arts Commissioner; Marcee Zari, a Whittier photographer whose exhibit in the Downtown Center gallery coincided with her teaching of photography and Photoshop classes; and author, 3-D expert and art critic, Ray Zone, who taught courses in film and literature, introducing students to classic and current films, while discussing and critically writing about them.  

After school programs are offered during the academic year and change quarterly.  Last summer, the inaugural Summer Academy for the Arts took place with two three-week sessions that offered full-day programs for middle school and high school age students.  At the end of each quarter or summer session students showcase their artwork and newly found or refined talents to the public.