Did You Know? More than 93% of Kiddo!’s program related expenses are used to pay the salaries of arts education teachers and specialists and K-5 PE teachers.

Our goal is for 100% of Mill Valley School District families to donate to Kiddo! each school year. Thank you to all the families who have contributed to our annual campaign so far. Your donations make the arts education taking place in distance learning possible.

So far 26% of district families have donated to Kiddo! for this school year. 

If you have not donated yet ...
Whether we are remote, hybrid, or in full classrooms, Kiddo!’s mission and purpose have not changed, and the teaching and education of our valued students continues.

Kiddo!’s mission is to enhance the K-8 public school experience here in Mill Valley by funding arts education and PE. Due to the high in-person contact rate for these teachers, all art, music, drama, dance, poetry, and PE classes will continue to be at a distance for the entire school year, as originally planned.
Also, your donation may be eligible for a matching gift from your employer!
Find out if it is by clicking here.
Stock donations are also welcome.
Donor Spotlight: The Keane Family
Trish Keane remembers the first time Kiddo! made her sit up and take notice. It was over a decade ago, when her daughter Kira, now a sophomore at Tam, was one of over 80 kindergarteners to line up neatly on the risers at Tam Valley and belt out a song about "All the Baby Animals, Safe at Home." She was amazed at the orderliness and the charm of the moment.

But it wasn't until the following year when chatting with a parent who had a student in another school district that Keane realized just how special the Kiddo!-funded classes her daughter enjoyed were.

"Her child didn't have PE every day," says Keane. "They didn't have poetry or dance, and their art room certainly didn't have a kiln, or the supplies that ours did. It was then that I started paying attention to what Kiddo! funded."

The discovery was a bonus for the Keane family who had moved to Mill Valley from San Francisco in 2003. Trish and her husband Brian's first home was located just above Tam Valley Elementary.

"We didn't realize how lucky we were until we met our new neighbors and heard them raving about the public schools," says Keane.

Since then, both of the Keanes' children have thrived in Kiddo!-funded classes. In second grade, Kira discovered her love of drama when she performed in the musical "Going Buggy." She went on to participate in all things drama, including MVMS' Cabaret for three years. She also took over her mom's childhood flute and went on to play in the jazz band.

David, now at MVMS, also finds himself comfortable on any stage and is a flautist in the seventh grade band. David was supposed to perform at Disneyland this past spring, but, naturally, like everything else, the trip was canceled due to coronavirus precautions.

"He misses playing with his friends in the band room with Mr. Carnahan and Mr. Smith," Keane concedes. "But they've got a good thing going via Zoom with smaller classes for each instrument type."

Despite the pandemic and its very real impact on student learning, the Keane family didn't think twice about donating to Kiddo! for this school year.

"The arts are proving to be such a needed, grounding break from COVID for our kids," says Keane. "For our family, it is making music, or creating a character in a scene. For other families, it may be singing, creating something via painting or sculpture or collage, or physical activity in PE. Who knows how much additional stress they are carrying around this year? To give them an opportunity to let some of that go, in a creative or physical way, seems like a fantastic gift."
Welcome to Orchestra Teacher Stephen Gardner!

We are happy to welcome Stephen Gardner, our newest Kiddo!-funded teacher, who has taken over orchestra instruction for the district since long-time teacher Phoebe Dong retired last year.

Gardner is quite familiar with his new students, as he often substituted last year, and he had been substituting in the orchestra classroom since the beginning of this school year.

Gardner is a multi-instrumentalist who has been touring internationally for a couple decades. He is a founding member of Culann's Hounds and Beso Negro, he is a long-time violinist with La Mandanga, and has appeared on countless albums as a hired gun in such genres as country, rap, blues, rock, and more.

Gardner received his degree in Viola Performance at SFSU and also studied at the Aaron Copeland School of Music. Gardner has also taught fiddle, viola, guitar and music theory at his private studio for over a decade.

Here is a link to a brief introductory video Gardner made to orchestra students and families.
Attention Third and Fourth Grade Families!

Check out these links with information on third and fourth grade chorus sign ups, as well as fourth grade orchestra.
These Kiddo!-funded programs offer a great opportunity to help your kids to feel connected with others in a fun and creative way ... even in a distanced learning environment.
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