5) Understand and respond equitably to community strengths, histories, and needs.
Suggestion: Write about reaching a student or having a break through with a student you otherwise might not have.
The Studio to School Initiative has had an impact on nearly every student at Agnes Stewart Middle School during the past three years. We have made it a priority to insure that every student has been able to participate in some way with the resources and opportunities afforded us through the initiative. However, some have been impacted more than others, and arguably none have been more impacted than an 8th grade student, Raven B.
Raven started at Agnes Stewart during the first year of funding. He does not live in our attendance area, but attends our school on a boundary waiver. In talking with him and his family, they state that the knowledge about the grant is one of the main reasons for seeking out ASMS. Raven and his family have and continue to endure many challenges, both financial and health related. However, they have taken full advantage of the opportunities provided through the grant and it has made an enormous impact on their family, as well as our school.
Raven is a bass player in our 8th grade orchestra. Thanks to the funding received through OCF, Raven meets with a professional bass player and instructor at least once a week during the orchestra class to fine tune the pieces they are playing in class…well, that is what it started out to be. Since Raven is the only bass player in the 8th grade, he has had weekly private lessons with his instructor provided by the Shedd, Corwin Bolt. Corwin has been instrumental in helping Raven discover his musical talents, as well as providing him with opportunities to develop his confidence and self-esteem. Not only has Corwin helped Raven to be prepared for the musical pieces in class, Corwin has helped him to develop the abilities to arrange his own music, allowing the bass to be a more featured instrument on several of the pieces, rather than the monotonous rhythms that are often given to bass players in middle school orchestra.
Raven is a quiet, shy kid who can often be found choosing to eat alone in the cafeteria; yet at the last orchestra concert, he was able to feature one of his own arrangements in a piece that put him at center stage and he excelled.
Raven’s family would not be able to financially provide him with private lessons; however, through the funding provided by OCF and the programming that we have put in place, Raven receives private instruction during the school day, is able to participate in after school programming that increases his skill, is able to take summer lessons so that he doesn’t regress, and has allowed him to attend various evening performances at the Shedd to increase his love and appreciation of music.
It is safe to say that Raven’s world and future would be very different without the Studio to School Initiative and the opportunities provided through our Music Matters program. I look forward to seeing the things the Raven accomplishes and am confident that music will play an important role in whatever career or future lies ahead.