In 1999 the symphony began its first educational program, Classics for Kids. The goal is simple: to expose every fourth-grade child in St. Cloud, Sartell and Sauk Rapids to classical music. Classics for Kids brings groups of musicians and their instruments into area classrooms (October to March) and allows students to interact on a personal level with performing musicians. The final event is an orchestra performance for over 1,400 students.
Classics for Kids exposes young people to the joys of music at the perfect time–when they might be making the decision to play an instrument–in an effort to give them a life-long hobby and means of self-expression. Students participate in this program at no cost. The only cost to schools is the expense of busing students to the percussion event and the Classics for Kids Concert.
In 2018, the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra reached its 25,600th fourth-grade student via this program.