Santa Clarita, California - An entire school district is drumming, clapping, singing, and stomping together to demonstrate how arts in education can support team building, anti-bullying, positive risk taking, and help to build better social and emotional skills. REMO Inc. trained and sent out a team of drum circle facilitators to deliver a hybrid of the research-based drumming program, Beat the Odds, to Sixth and Seventh grade students in the Santa Clarita Valley School Districts near Los Angeles, California. The Beat the Odds program has proven to be a viable model for bringing about positive behavioral changes in students and more importantly, has succeeded in being a useful tool for helping kids stay in school. Mike DeMenno, Remo facilitator explains, “This program gets the kids loosened up to get to know each other with no bullying. They accept each other and start being creative together.” Remo’s trained facilitators will have visited 608 classrooms in 5 school districts training 7,200 students.
The culmination of this nearly year-long endeavor takes place May 18, 2012, on the field of College of the Canyon’s Cougar Stadium. Called “Rock the Rhythm, Beat the Odds,” the event celebrates a unique partnership between the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center, Remo, Inc., the teachers and administrators of all five school districts, as well as local businesses and individuals, all of whom are dedicated to publicizing and supporting the need for sustained arts programming for each and every student of Santa Clarita – from Kindergarten through the 12th Grade. “Rock the Rhythm, Beat the Odds” will bring together 7,200 Sixth and Seventh Graders and 3,000-4,000 Community Members to attempt to set a new Guinness Record for the World’s Largest Drum Circle.
The students will be led in their world-record attempt by legendary drummer Mickey Hart, of the Grateful Dead, as well as Remo Belli, founder and CEO of Remo, Inc., a Santa Clarita-based drum and drumhead manufacturer, plus some popular professional drummers. “This kind of event is inclusive, not exclusive, and meant to enhance the community,” said Hart. “I strongly urge the community to get involved because it’s really for their benefit.”
Rock the Rhythm, Beat the Odds has launched a web site (www.rocktherhythm.org) showcasing a countdown clock timed to zero out at 10:30 AM on the day of the event, along with links to the latest project news, information on participating organizations, and the “Video of the Day.”
A Santa Clarita-based company, Remo, Inc. has been the world’s drumhead specialist for more than 50 years. Its wide variety of drumheads fit every drumming application and they have been used by almost every professional drummer. Founder Remo Belli is a member of the PAC K-12 Arts Education Advisory Committee and is dedicated to promoting the benefits of Arts Education and Music in Education.
PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program
The PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program continues to provide opportunities for the youth of the Santa Clarita Valley through valuable partnerships with major arts organizations in California and across the nation. The program uses College of the Canyons’ cultural and community resources to expose student population to top-tier, visual and performing arts standard-based arts activities and integrated performing arts learning opportunities. The outreach program has at its core a collaborative approach, partnering with teachers and administrators in school districts, and community-based organizations throughout the area to develop an enhanced arts education curriculum and a variety of unique educational opportunities for all students. More information on the Outreach Program can be found online at:http://www.canyons.edu/Offices/PIO/CanyonsPAC/k12arts.html
Beat the Odds
Launched at UCLArts and Healing, Beat the Odds is a drum circle-based activity that seeks to maximize creative expression while building social and emotional skills, emphasizing the process of learning over performance. UCLA researchers have shown that Beat the Odds can significantly improve a spectrum of behavior problems in children, including inattention, withdrawn/depression, post traumatic stress, anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, and sluggish cognitive tempo. It is inclusive, culturally relevant, and does not bear the stigma of therapy.