March marked the 31st annual Music In Our Schools Month®. And over six weeks in March and April, six schools around the United States are hosting celebrations no student would want to miss.
On April 15, 2016, George A. Jackson Elementary School in Jericho, New York (Nassau County), will be the fifth of six schools to be recognized for its music program and be presented a grant for $2,500! Radio Disney artist Daya will be joined by Radio Disney on-air personality Candice for the celebration. George A. Jackson’s school ensemble will perform prior to the concert and grant presentation.
“At Jackson, the students and faculty are aware how fortunate we are to have an abundance of supplies for the music department,” said George A. Jackson music teacher Andrea Gonnella. “The Give a Note Foundation was created to support and strengthen music programs in need. Therefore, we decided that in the spirit of giving back and keeping with the theme of the song we performed in the video we submitted, We Are the World, we felt it would be appropriate to donate the money to a school in need. When we asked Give a Note about donating the grant to another school, they told us that they would help to find a school that was truly in need. Our principal, Benny D’Aquila believes in giving to those who are less fortunate and also showing the students a great example of helping others.
“Before we won the contest,” Ms. Gonnella continued, “we decided that it would be good sportsmanship to invite the competing school. The Frank E. Thompson Middle School students and teachers worked hard on their video and deserve to be part of this celebration of music education. The goal of music is to bring people together, and it is going to be a great opportunity for the students in both schools to sing together at the concert.”
Last October, Radio Disney on-air personality Brooke Taylor and Give a Note President and Board Chair Beth Slusher announced the partnership for the third annual Music In Our Schools Tour. Thanks to the generosity of Radio Disney, the 2016 Music In Our Schools – Music Inspires Tour will have a greater reach than ever before.
The kickoff event took place March 19 at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park at Walt Disney World Resorts where Radio Disney artists Carson Lueders and Before You Exit performed during Disney Performing Arts’ Festival Disney awards. Approximately 3,500 students were in attendance during that celebration where the six schools on the Music in Our Schools Tour were introduced.
Schools from all over the nation shared performances of songs that inspired their music students. And this past February, votes were cast to select one school in each of six regions around the United States to receive a grant from the Give a Note Foundation for their music program, a celebration concert with a Radio Disney artist, and a Radio Disney Music Awards (RDMA) “ARDY” Statuette, recognizing the schools as honorary award winners of the 2016 RDMA, music’s biggest event for families.
These six schools will host the 2016 Music In Our Schools Tour (dates subject to change):
- March 17: Shady Hill Elementary School, Ocala, FL (Marion County); Music Teacher: Sondra A. W. Collins
- March 25: Spanish Fork Junior High School, Spanish Fork, UT (Utah County); Music Teacher: Angela Harman
- April 1: Stapleton Public Schools, Stapleton, NE (Logan County); Music Teacher: Daniel Gibbs
- April 8: Southwest Elementary School, Dexter, MO (Stoddard County); Music Teacher: James Eldreth
- April 15: George A. Jackson Elementary School, Jericho, NY (Nassau County); Music Teacher: Andrea Gonnella
- April 19: Maplewood Elementary School, Puyallup, WA (Pierce County); Music Teacher: Maggie Smith
Music In Our Schools Month® or “MIOSM®” is National Association for Music Education’s (NAfME) annual celebration during March which engages music educators, students, and communities from around the country in promoting the benefits of high quality music education programs in schools.
However, many underserved schools around the country do not receive the support they need to sustain their music programs. This need inspired the creation of Give a Note Foundation, which was established in 2011 by NAfME with a vision of giving every child the opportunity to participate in school music programs. Give a Note shines a spotlight on those areas of need, and the value of music education in the lives of all students, and the great work of the music teachers who reach those students.
Since 2011, Give a Note has given $1.2 million in grants to schools for their music programs, reaching more than 40,000 students in 100 communities. Give a Note has reached 35 states and counting.
Follow the 2016 Music in Our Schools Tour on Instagram and Twitter by following the hashtags #MIOStour, #MIOS2016, and #MusicInspires. See bit.ly/2016MIOStour for details.
Jane Mell Balek
Give a Note Foundation
(703) 860-4000 ext. 228
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