SAVE THE AB MILLER DANCE PROGRAM

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For over 20 years, The A.B. Miller Dance program has been led by Nicole Atlas Robinson a renowned educator dedicated to breaking down barriers for underserved youth and providing arts education to public school children. Her hard work and dedication to equity in education has earned her numerous recognitions over the years including the Dance Teacher of the Year Award from the California League of High Schools in 2015 and a Carlston Family Foundation Teacher of the Year Award in 2017. Although these academic recognitions are a monumental accomplishment, they pale in comparison to the countless lives Nicole and the A.B. Miller Dance Program have touched.

The A.B. Miller Dance program provides not only arts education, but also a place for students, particularly students of color, to feel heard and valued. The compassionate and culturally relevant teaching of the A.B. Miller Dance Program encompasses so much more than just dance. Regardless of  whether students decide to pursue dance or not, the lessons they learn encompass so much more. Students in the program are held to academic standards that support their high school graduation and continuing education. They learn to be a part of a team, to be responsible, to be respectful, to honor commitments, to persevere, and most importantly that in spite of struggle they too can succeed. Serving a demographic of mostly minority students, the impact of increased graduation rates for dance program attendees is enough to garner respect for the program, but this is only the surface. Nicole Robinson and the A.B. Miller Dance Program teach their students that one step at a time is all it takes to achieve their goals. Students are empowered to find their voice through movement. They are not learning dance, they are learning how to be impactful, powerful, and productive citizens of a community greater than themselves.

Countless studies have shown that students who participate in the arts and extracurricular activities are exponentially more likely to graduate. Yet the cost of dance classes is a barrier for so many. A.B. Miller provides a rare and coveted opportunity for public school children to participate in dance classes with many of the barriers removed. In this way, A.B. Miller sets an example for those across the country which is why it has gained national recognition in recent years.

We are petitioning the Fontana Unified School District to reinstate the second dance instructor position (recently cut) and fully support the dance program with classes and resources for all levels of the program. F.U.S.D needs to recognize and understand what a true gem this program is and how many lives it has positively impacted. Nicole and the A.B. Miller Dance Program have taught us how and when to fight for what we believe in. They have taught us that our voice matters, that we matter, and we intend to raise our voices in unison to save the A.B. Miller Dance Program for the youth of tomorrow.