Love where you live!
LA MESA -- The streets were busier. The school buildings were suddenly more full than they had been in years.
On Thursday, the new La Mesa Arts Academy at La Mesa Middle School opened for its first official day, bringing a new grade four through eight program to the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District.
"We're proud of what we've accomplished at La Mesa Middle School the last few years,'' Principal Beth Thomas (pictured right) said recently. "But with the new Arts Academy we're adding a new element again.''
That may, in fact, be an understatement.
The new program is aimed at bringing the arts back to a more central role in children's education and it has already gotten the first signs of a big endorsement from the community. With an opening enrollment of more than 500 students, the student population at the La Mesa Middle campus has virtually doubled overnight. Among the new students starting school Thursday were a good number of students who chose this arts program from outside the district's regular attendance area, a good sign in a more competitive school environment.
Thursday's opening marks the second leg of a three-leg effort that is expected to bolster quality of education and life for young people on La Mesa's west side. The recent million dollar renovation of the Boys and Girls Club Teen center to the school's east is expected to be soon bolstered by the construction of a 25,000 square foot Boys and Girls Club on open land located between the current La Mesa Middle Campus and nearby Helix High School.
The effort is a collaboration between the school district, the City of La Mesa and the Boys and Girls Club of East County.