Local Music Teachers Kick Off the School Year with Instruments and a $16,000 Gift
The ringing of school bells isn’t the only sound that reminds us that Santa Barbara schools are back in session. The sound of violins, mostly played in unison, echoing through local campuses, let us know that our school music education programs are also back in session.
And with a return to music classrooms, students need instruments to play. Fortunately, the Santa Barbara community dug deep into their closets and garages to dust off and donate over 150 quality instruments to the Santa Barbara Education Foundation.
Last week, SBEF hosted local music teachers to distribute the instruments for this school year quickly. According to SBEF Program Manager Katie Szopa, “These instruments go directly into the hands of local students after a quick check for needed maintenance and repairs.”
In addition, SB Unified music teachers received $16,000 in funding to purchase classroom materials and maintain their instruments.
The instruments and funds are from an ongoing fundraising effort by the Santa Barbara Education Foundation with help from community partners such as the Johnson Ohana Foundation, Irene F. Anderson Foundation, Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation, Pacific Premier Bank, and proceeds from the annual Keep the Beat Radiothon on 99.9 KTYD.
“Hands-on learning with music is just what our students need right now,” according to Szopa. “We are just so thankful that our community came together to support music education during what’s been a very challenging time in our local schools.”
From music teachers to instruments, SBEF has been raising funds to support music education in local schools since 2003. Today, all 5000+ elementary students learn to play an instrument during their school day. An originating partner in the Pianos on State project, SBEF runs a year-round instrument drive for SB Unified schools. For more information, visit www.santabarbaraeducation.org.
Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) provides and supports programs that enrich the academic, artistic, and personal development of all students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.
Begin to Build a Relationship
We know you care about where your money goes and how it is used. Connect with this organization’s leadership in order to begin to build this important relationship. Your email will be sent directly to this organization’s director of development and/or Executive Director.
Antonña Gives Back
“My grades went from all F’s and a GPA of 0.0 to graduating Dos Pueblos High School with a 4.0 and getting a $10,000 scholarship to attend a CSU. I had never even imagined myself graduating high school let alone going to college. The Academy for Success completely changed my life and I’ll forever be grateful for that. Proudly, I’m in my last year of school at Santa Barbara City College and have been interning with the Academy for Success the past four years in hopes to spread the same hope the program provided for me.”
Bridging the Digital Divide
Even before the pandemic, Santa Barbara Education Foundation Executive Director Margie Yahyavi had heard that the parking lots around Santa Barbara schools were full at night. Why? Parents without Internet were driving their kids to pick up the school’s Wi-Fi so they could do homework.
With students forced online to learn during the pandemic, the digital divide has shown even more stark.
The Education Foundation jumped into action, raising funds so that internet accounts and hotspots could be set up and noise reducing headphones are provided – making education accessible to the thousands of lower income students who need it. But, as Yahyavi points out, this is a problem that won’t go away.
“How are kids supposed to learn without access to Wi-Fi after this is all over?” she says. “How can they be competitive without having the information available over the Internet?”
To help meet the demands today and tomorrow, please make a donation at: www.sbefoundation.org/donate.
Board of Directors
Mat Gradias, President, Associate Architect, Kruger Bensen Ziemer Architects
John Ogilvie, Vice President, Financial Consultant, Strategic Planning
Tisha Weber Ford, Secretary, CEO, Weber Logistics
Diana Ciontea, Treasurer, Director of Finance, ProductPlan
Terri Allison, Immediate Past President, Early Childhood and Non-profit Consultant
Debbie Arnesen, Retired Fund Development
Isis Castañeda, Project Coordinator, IV Coalition for Healthy Communities
Jon Clark, President, James S. Bower Foundation
Eder Gaona-Macedo, Executive Director, Future Leaders of America
Larry Harter, President, Pueblo Radiology
Victoria Juarez, Community Leader
Daniel Meisel, Regional Director of ADL Santa Barbara/Tri Counties
Jeffrey Milem, Dean and Professor, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UCSB
Britt Ortiz, Director, Early Academic Outreach Program, UCSB
Felicita Torres, Attorney, Griffith & Thornburgh
Hilda Maldonado, Superintendent, Santa Barbara Unified School District
Kelly Fresch, Principal, Adams Elementary School
Carolyn Ross,Teacher, Goleta Valley Junior High School
Wendy Sims-Moten, Executive Director, First 5 Santa Barbara County