RPAK students at Bernice Mathews
Changing lives with music

RPA Kids


Stead Recital 12-15-2014

Students at Stead Elementary RPA Kids recital.

The mission of RPA Kids is to engage pre-6th grade students in a level of music education they would otherwise not have access to and connect them to resources to become life-long music listeners, learners, and lovers.


1. Music is a vital part of cultural life in Washoe County
2. Every child has equal access to high quality music education.

Since 2006, the Reno Philharmonic’s RPA Kids program (formerly Celebrate Strings) has provided free after-school violin instruction at area Title 1 At Risk elementary schools.

Two classes are presented four days per week at no charge to the student or family. During the 2013-2014 school year, 180 students participated in RPA Kids. Each session concludes with a recital for parents, teachers and fellow students. This program provides an earlier introduction to strings than would likely be possible for children in this community.

RPA Kids is currently provided at Anderson, Bernice Mathews, Glenn Duncan, Lincoln Park, and Stead Elementary. In the spring of 2013 a Mariachi ensemble was added to RPA Kids at Bernice Mathews Elementary.

In 2008, the Reno Philharmonic became Partners in Education with Bernice Mathews Elementary School. In 2009, the Reno Phil was awarded Contributor of the Year through the Washoe County School District’s “Team-Up” program for its RPA Kids program.

There are currently five former RPA Kids students who are now participants in the Reno Philharmonic Youth Orchestras.

What is Title I ?

According to Washoe County District, Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is a set of programs administered by the United States Department of Education to distribute funding to schools and school districts with a high percentage of students from low-income families.