The Santa Monica-based William H. Hannon Foundation has awarded a grant to St. Anastasia Catholic School in Playa del Rey to assist in funding the K-8 school’s performing arts program over the next five years.

St. Anastasia officials say the school provides a comprehensive performing arts program which helps students achieve presentation skills and confidence in public speaking, concentration and listening, as well as the appreciation of various social and cultural styles and art forms.

The school’s program includes three key elements: a Christmas pageant in which each class presents its own musical performance; an annual school musical for students in grades four through eight; and a performing arts showcase for students to demonstrate their individual artistic talents or work

together in a group ensemble.

St. Anastasia Catholic School launched its performance program in 2000 and the William H. Hannon Foundation has been a supporter since 2005.

“My late uncle was very fond of St. Anastasia Catholic School. His office was close by and he’d often drop in to check on various programs he supported,” said Kathleen Hannon Aikenhead, president of the William H. Hannon Foundation and a member of the foundation’s Board of Directors since its founding in 1983.

“He would be very pleased to see us supporting St. Anastasia’s performing arts program as it helps develop an appreciation of the arts while instilling confidence in students.”

St. Anastasia Principal Rosemary Connolly said of the grant, “We are extremely grateful to the William H. Hannon Foundation for its continued support of St. Anastasia Catholic School. At St. Anastasia we strive to provide a well-rounded learning experience for our students beginning in kindergarten and continuing through eighth grade.

“Through our performing arts program, our students experience the joy and thrill of performing before a live audience.”

The Hannon Foundation works to support Catholic churches and schools, as well as hospitals and social service organizations that are focused on improving the lives of people in local communities.