Education Matters: Couple establishes arts endowment for Fresno students


FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Making sure every student has access to an arts program has long been a priority for the Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.

Providing the teachers, instruments, and training for those programs takes extra funding, which requires fundraising, business partnerships, grants, and support from people like Mike and Linda Rogers.

“We both have been involved with young people in our careers and we’ve seen how important the arts are,” said retired teacher Linda Rogers.

She is a retired second-grade teacher and he a retired pastor. When they received an inheritance they knew exactly what they wanted to do.

“From the very beginning literally they intended that the arts endowment be established for the purpose of music education,” said executive director Dr. Michele Copher.

Dr. Michele Copher with the Foundation at Freno County Office of Education says the Rodgers created a trust five years ago. Every year they meet with Copher and the director of visual and performing arts to decide what programs to fund.

“Some districts have a lot of programs and a lot of good ones and a lot are struggling and sometimes it just takes a little bit of push,” said retired pastor Michael Rogers. “A little bit of help and they can do more than they are doing now.”

The Rogers have helped fund programs in Firebaugh, Riverdale, Sanger, and southwest Fresno.

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