Mission: The Creative Kids Education Foundation is a non-profit educational organization founded in l996. The mission of the Foundation is to design and support innovative programs in classical music education and the arts and humanities for young people.
The Creative Kids Education Foundation is a non profit educational organization founded in l996 by J. Kirk Mathews, co-founder of Xircom. Jama Laurent, Ph.D. is the President of the Foundation and has been developing the mission, structure, and grant making policies of the organization since its inception. Dr. Laurent has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a focus in child development and community outreach. She maintains a clinical private practice and specializes in working with children, adolescents, and has a specific interest in creativity. Dr. Laurent graduated from the USC School of Music and spent years as a professional musician performing in opera and recital.
Originally, the mission of the Foundation was to identify and support innovative programs for children that were technologically based. The early gifts of the Foundation were made to the UCLA Virtual Reality Cultural Lab, the Bresee Foundation, an after school program in a high risk Los Angeles community, the Frostig Center, an internationally known school for learning disabled students, and the Open Charter School, a California Distinguished Elementary School with a technologically based curriculum and innovative teaching practices.
In l998 the mission of the Foundation was broadened to include arts education with special focus on classical music. In l999 the Foundation’s gifts were made to the Los Angeles Opera, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Joy of Singing project in New York, and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Also funded were the Los Angeles Center for Educational Research, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, and the St. Mark’s School.
At present, the Foundation is adopting private operating status. We no longer accept proposals nor do we make grants. Our program work focuses on developing internet based activities for classical music education. Dr. Laurent has written and produced “Creative Kids Central” in partnership with KUSC, Los Angeles’ publicly supported classical music radio station. The website www.kusc.org/kids is a free public service web based introduction to classical music for children, parents and teachers. The project continues to be in development, and a new component will feature a short internet movie on music composition and music education activities for teens.