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News And Events
Feb 2 2012 12:00AM
Carlos Santana Arts Academy
On Monday, Januaury 30 Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman Santana visited the the newly named Carlos Santana Arts Academy (CSAA), a new public school in the LA Unified School District. It is an arts infused elementary school in the Los Angeles area. Last summer, principal Leah Bass-Baylis wrote a letter to Mr. Santana asking if it would be possible to have her school named after him.
Mrs. Bass-Baylis says she knows with encouragement, a good education, love, and guidance her students can be successful in life. She wanted desperately for the school to be named after an artist who represents the very best in their artistic field and in their belief in mankind. She felt Carlos Santana exemplifies a love of humankind and a respect of differences, until differences make no difference.
95% students of the student attending CSAA are English language learners from families who are struggling to survive in an unstable economy.
Principal Bass-Baylis sees her vision and Milagro Foundation's vision in alignment:"College is integral to our vision and mission and, on a daily basis, our students say a school pledge in Spanish and in English that includes the following: "I am a lifelong learner. I am college bound. I will be more than good enough because I am destined for greatness."
Leah says, "When my students see Carlos Santana's name, hear his music, and read about his accomplishments it says to them "I can. He is someone who they can relate to and he inspires them to reach for the sky. "
Mr. and Mrs. Santana were given a special student-guided tour by the Student Council members, Kimberly, Victor, Irwin, and Miguel (pictured above). Meeting the kids and visiting several classrooms were highlights of the tour. The day's ceremony included speeches, presentations and 2 musical performances by Little Kids Rock. Santana and his wife, Cindy were invited on stage to join the musical performance. Carlos presented a donation to show support for the school.
Mr. Santana left his school audience with a thought, "You cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive correctly. Once you perceive you are a beam of light, you will carry yourself like it."
The grand finale was surprise, a flashmob dance performance by the entire school to one of Santana's hit songs from album, Supernatural, (Da Le) Yaleo.
Click on the photo image (on homepage) to see the CSAA flashmob performance!
Photo Credit (all photos in this gallery): David Crane/L.A. Daily News