WCSD Mariachi Music Program Grows With Help From Donors - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

WCSD Mariachi Music Program Grows With Help From Donors

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A unique music program recently launched by the Washoe County School District is getting pretty popular.

Sixty students at four area schools, including Traner Middle School, participate in the district's mariachi program.

The program was launched in the spring with the goal of engaging more Hispanic students using the music many grew up with.

"They like that it's something that they know, that their family knows, that they've heard before. A lot of times you get into orchestra and music, it's something completely new and it's hard for some students to identify. They usually get there eventually, but mariachi--it was right away...students were loving it," says Traner Middle School music teacher Forrest Jones.

Thanks to community donations the district has been able to cover the costs of instruments for every student.

Though it may just seem like fun, other mariachi education programs have actually shown improvements in school attendance and graduation rates. Nearly 37% of WCSD students are Hispanic.

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