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."