Thursday, July 07, 2005

$150,000 grant for innovative Henry music program

La Musique (The Music Lesson) Painted: 1939, Oil on canvas.
115.2 x 115.2 cm. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo Posted by Picasa

The Presser Foundation has awarded Henry school a $150,000 grant, over three years, to develop and present an innovative music program infused in the core curriculum.

I have reviewed the informational returns that Presser - like all private foundations - is required to file with the IRS, listing all grants and distributions. (You can access foundation informational returns at GrantSmart and Guidestar.) Presser just doesn't give to individual schools, unless the school happens to be a place like Juliard, the Academy of Vocal Arts, or a university scholarship program. There are no other grants to elementary/middle schools - public, private, suburban, you name it - in recent Presser history.

Why C.W. Henry, then? Turning to math, we find:

knowledgeable/committed parents + creative/willing faculty = winning program

The grant, driven and written by uber-volunteer and music advocate Ulrike Shapiro, working closely with Henry faculty and administrators, follows a smaller planning grant by the Presser Foundation, last year. As Principal Caren Trantas says, "Researching and writing this grant was a true collaborative effort by the Administration and Parents of Henry School."

The grant will establish a program of integrated curriculum-based music units. Classroom teachers will collaborate with performing artists from the Delaware Valley to co-plan and co-teach rigorous and innovative lessons, integrating music into the core curriculum of science, mathematics, social studies, or language arts. Units may cover any subject or area of study and are limited only by the creativity of the team. Each unit will meet three objectives:

1. Provide all students with equitable access to music;

2. Present music as a valuable experience in its own right; and

3. Include at least one element of community involvement.

Over the three-year grant period, every classroom will benefit from collaborating on at least one unit/project with a visiting performing artist. Henry will seek additional funds to increase the number of participating classrooms each year, and to continue the program past the three-year period.

The Presser Foundation was established by the late music publisher and philanthropist, Theodore Presser, to promote music and music education.

UPDATE - 7/27/05: check out this week's Mt. Airy Times Express for their article on the Presser grant!

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