Published On: Tue, Sep 25th, 2018

Invest in our Students, the Arts Instruction. It’s Critical for Their Education.

By: C. Ron Allen

Boca Raton, FL – Every year dozens of students who participate in band and orchestra in schools across our district cannot afford to rent or buy their instrument.

But there is an even greater challenge facing these students: so many people have taken the arts for granted and are reluctant to support it financially.

Our schools here in Boca Raton are not immune. The need is so great that members of the West Boca High School Chorus are holding a fundraiser. With 12 days to go, they are $2,411 short of their goal of $8,000.

“Your generous support will help us offer a higher quality music experience for all of our students,” choir director Catherine Briggs wrote in an electronic post recently. “Your donation is tax deductible and you will receive a receipt via email for your generous gift. If you could please spread the word about our fundraiser by sharing it with your friends via Email, Text, or Social Media- we would greatly appreciate it! We strive to create high-quality music experiences that bring pride to our school and local community. Thank you again for your support!!”

Donations will be used to buy sheet music, uniform maintenance, festival fees, transportation, voice lesson scholarships and awards, among other necessities.

The choirs are largely self-funded program. Typically, many public-school music programs have little to no official budget, so they must rely on teacher out-of-pocket spending, fundraisers or support through parent-teacher organizations.

For years, music classes have been the ugly ducklings of school curriculums. When school districts must make budget cuts, music and arts programs are often the last courses to be added and the first on the chopping block.

I find it interesting and yet so disheartening that many people never think about how the artists – who soothes our hearts with such melodious sounds – often achieve their status.

It takes money to pay for practice sessions to eventually read the sheet music and to play those instruments.

Let’s face it, music is always around us. We do not do anything without music. We get music, just by turning on our TVs or radios, our ringtones and even the nursery rhymes, all provide music.  Yet, we often take it for granted that it’s going to be there.

Through your donations all of Briggs’ vocal music students will be able to receive a high quality and comprehensive music experience.

Kamryn Mills, an 11th-grader and president of the KOP Mentoring Network, is among her students.

“Thank you so much for helping me meet my goal,” said Mills, who has raised $40 of her $500 goal.

I promised to match up to the first $100 that she raises. I encourage you to do likewise as you would be investing wisely in this child. Along with being an outstanding student academically, she is disciplined, polite and very appreciative of everything she gets.

“Oh thanks. Again, thank you so much. Words can’t speak for how thankful I am,” she wrote in a text once she learned of my pledge.

Educators will tell you that music opportunities such as jazz band and orchestra ensembles give students a chance to connect outside of the classroom. They also give staff an opportunity to showcase talented student groups while offering the community opportunities to see live performances.

Music education is such an important piece of the puzzle that helps us prepare students for life.

There are also studies that suggested those who learn music score better on math tests, which supports my theory of why music education should be a required component in all schools because of the proven academic, social, and personal benefits it provides.

With Boca Raton being a caring and generous community that sees the value in music education, let us do our part to help fill that need for some of our children.

The school has set us a fundraising page where donors can give. Visit https://www.snap-raise.com/fundraisers/west-boca-2018-chorus-campaign/participant/4484684?

C. Ron Allen can be reached at crallen@Delraybeachtribune.com or 561-665-0151.

 

 

 

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