The foundation donated nearly 250 instruments to seven schools during a special unveiling Tuesday at Camden Street School, one of the grant recipients, in the midst of National Arts in Education Week, Sept. 10 – 16. Each school will receive approximately 35 instruments, as well as brand new music stands, stand racks, method books, professional development sessions and program support.
“I’m excited to have a new instrument that will help me play music,” said Camden Street School 5th grader, Tashay Carter.
“I’ve been wanting a new instrument for a long time, I’m really happy, thank you,” said Camden Street School 3rd grader, Deion Searles.
“New Edition” Actor and Singer, Algee Smith joined in the surprise celebration for students.
“Always use your mind to determine what is important for you. Speak what you want into existence and you will find that your dreams will come true,” said Smith.
The event in Newark kicked off a five-year project to invest in music programs in approximately thirty-eight schools with demonstrated need. Each will each receive a package estimated at $60,000 – including approximately $45,000 worth of new musical instruments and other equipment, and $15,000 for professional development, advocacy support, research, measurement and program evaluation.
“The Newark Public Schools system serves more low-income students than all other districts in New Jersey, and a majority of its K-8 schools do not have instrumental music programs. We are now working to change that by bringing music education to the students who need it most,” said Henry Donahue, executive director of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity for our students. Research has found that learning music facilitates learning subjects and enhances skills that children use in other areas; a child uses multiple skill sets while learning music which is why this partnership with VH1 Save The Music is important to our mission to link everything students do to learning,” said Superintendent of Schools Christopher D. Cerf.
In addition to VH1, additional donors include: ELMA Philanthropy, The Singer Family Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Partners include the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Newark Arts Education Roundtable and Newark Arts Council.