Monday, June 13, 2005

Lisa Kester "My husband and I strongly support this program and the staff."

Dear Mr. Mayor, Mr. Yeager, and Ms. Chirco,


It has been brought to my attention that you are considering saving the Young People’s Theater program.  I was very surprised to find out that this program was at risk of being cancelled.  My husband and I strongly support this program and the staff.


Both my daughters have been very active in the YPT for several years and I strongly recommend this program without hesitation to any family.  This program is more than just “something fun to do”; it actually has given my girls great confidence.  Janelle, 13 years, has been in three plays, two summer camps, and two improve camps.  She has great ease being in front of a group of people whether singing, dancing or speaking– she actually looks forward to the opportunity and excels. Rebecca, 9 years, has been in two plays and three summer camps.  Rebecca has great difficulties with anxiety and we were not sure how she would do, but not only did she perform very well in the plays, but sang a solo in front of our entire church congregation and also was asked to fill in for a lead role (learned her lines in 4 days) in a school play – without hesitation.  My girls have benefited and learned great life skills by participating in this program.  While my older daughter may choose to pursue drama opportunities through her high school, my younger daughter will still continue to participate with YPT.


As a parent, we are required to volunteer during the performances.  I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity and was really able to see how this program not only benefited my children, but also impacted and assisted other children’s personal needs.  I was very impressed with the patience (and at the same time stern guidelines – which I appreciate) and the vision of the staff to see that some of these kids just need the opportunity to perform and succeed.  This may sound very simple; yet the positive effect on these children is so great.


I know what this program has done personally for my children and I hope that the existence of this program will not again come into question as to its importance to our community and to our children. 


Best regards,


Lisa Kester

Glenpark Drive

CA 95136

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Current state of the performing arts at YPT

 TO: Friends of YPT
FROM:  Andrea Norman

Thank you to Rosie Marks who this weekend sent out an email to some of you with information released from Ken Yeager’s office on YPT.  I wanted to give you a little more detail, so here goes.

First, I want to back up a bit and let everyone know what a great job Joanie Schuller did in speaking in support of YPT at the City Council Budget Hearing on May 10th.  I also want to compliment Kevin Marks on the 2-minute video he prepared for the same meeting.  It showed 4-5 of the children in Peter Pan costume speaking on what the program means to them - a very powerful message amid all the adults speaking that night.  Although there were hundreds of people there in support of other programs on the chopping block and other Council agenda items, I think we were well represented by Joanie and Kevin’s video.

On June 8th, Mayor Gonzales released his “Mayor’s June Budget Message for Fiscal Year 2005-2006.”  Included in the memorandum was the following item related to YPT that the Mayor authorized to be incorporated into the city’s budget:

“Young People’s Theater: The budget proposal to eliminate this theater program can be avoided through raising fees, adding different activities to the program, and continuing the volunteer support for the program to achieve full cost recovery.  Under a proposal developed by PRNS and supported by YPT parents, the program would achieve cost recovery and would require parents to provide a total of 3,333 hours of volunteer participation.  Given the speculative nature of the increase in revenue the Manager is directed to review this budget in December and not proceed if costs are not tracking within revenues.”

This result was the work of YPT, Ken Yeager, and Judy Chirco.  You should know that the development of a Manager’s Budget Addendum (MBA) by PRNS was slow in coming and was spurred on by a formal memorandum written by Yeager and Chirco to the Mayor on May 23rd.  Budget Director Larry Lisenbee was also very helpful and attentive to getting the MBA finished.

The great news is the YPT will continue.  The cautionary message, though, is that the future of the program after December will depend on YPT’s ability to achieve cost recovery.  Several factors will determine whether this will happen and our participation with YPT and support of Carole and her staff is one of them.

One final piece of information.  Those of you who attended the meeting with Joan Carrico at Kirk CC on May 9th might recall that Gary Ozaki and staff explained the YPT Fee Activity Account.  This is the account that all the program income and expenses go through (except Carole and Donna’s salary).  At the time there was a balance of approximately $10,200 and the question was asked if that money would carry over to 2005-06.  Last week I heard back from Gary on that subject and he stated that the current balance in the Fee Activity Account is approximately $2,900 and that any money left over at the end of this fiscal year will be carried over into the next fiscal year.

I will be copying Carole on this email and will be offering to help her organize a meeting of the Friends of YPT when she feels it is appropriate.  To help facilitate such a meeting, please review the FOYPT roster below.  If any information on you is missing, please provide it to me by email.  And if you know of anyone that would like to be added, please also send their information.

Thank you,
Andrea Norman

Thursday, June 09, 2005

The Willow Glen Resident | 0523 | June 8, 2005

The Willow Glen Resident | 0523 | June 8, 2005
Thanks Alicia for writing a great article!

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