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Mar 28, 2019

Bursting into Spring with Songs!

GITC Ohio County, WV
GITC Ohio County, WV

Happy Spring, Music Loving Friend!

Thank you so much for your ongoing support of this work. We are really happy to share how well things are going in the schools this spring. Classes from Brunswick and New Hanover counties in North Carolina to Los Angeles and San Diego counties, from Washington to Alabama are placing instruments, understanding and musical teaching into classrooms with your phenomenal help. We've started new programs in Raleigh and Ohio counties in West Virginia and in Aurora, Colorado with help from the Country Music Association Foundation and all of you. Our photos today are giving a shout out to new Faculty Trainers Andrea Sullivan, Julie Schultz and Terrie Catlow in each of these places!

Friends, enrollment is bursting at the seams in our programs. We have had to double up on supplies from our sponsors in order to get instruments, gig bags and musical tools like tuners and capos to everyone. Without TKL, Dunlop, Kala, Korg, Martin, Godin, David Broza and 1MG, G7 Capos Rock Tips and Kyser, this fall and spring would have been impossible. If you play music, you know these names- we want you to know these are some great folks making the music possible from the products side. The office has truly been a supply freeway. Gotta shout out to our programs coordinator, Sam Cadwell for her tireless work getting everything sorted out and shipped out! She could show Santa's elves a thing or two. There is a photo of Sam in this report, too.

We have even started an online class this winter for teachers who can't get to program for one reason or another and this is being taught by our amazing faculty trainer in Kansas, Amanda Johnson. Now no teacher has to miss out on this work if they can take the time to learn. 

Your charity is making a phenomenal difference in terms of providing teachers who are craving this training the opportunity to learn, grow and transmit everything they're doing in our free classes to their students. Please keep it up. Our work is boosting language proficiency in the early grades which is essential to helping students continue to succeed as they mature. A recent review of the data showed us that students who experience integrated music with GITC for 2 years have up to a 24% lead in achieving English Language Proficiency (ELP) over students who are not receiving this approach. You can learn more about the importance of attaining grade-level ELP by the end of third grade by following the link to the Annie E Casey study below.

I also want to give you a quick heads-up about our work in Special Ed.

GITC has now expanded our trainings to include more 2-day Adaptive Music conferences and teaching artist residencies for special educators, specialists and paraprofessionals. We are determined to get music to students in special day classes who have been left out of music. Our teaching artists in Los Angeles who have been working primarily in transitional kindergarten,  extended transitional kindergarten and kindergarten classrooms are now also serving in higher grades AND in the Carlson Home Hospital schools with teachers of children who are isolated in home and hospital settings by extreme medical conditions. Through these 10-week residencies, the home hospital teachers are now learning to give students what they need to thrive through the power of making music and singing songs. Music is relieving children's pain, is giving them a sense of vitality and joy! Your gifts for special education can go through our campaign for that initiative if you are interested in helping in this way.

Is there a community you want to support where you think music is needed? Please let us know. Are you living somewhere where a GITC program is taking place and you might like to visit? We'd be happy to make introductions for you. We hope for you that this year you can have a direct experience of the magic and the real musical, academic and  life skills and abilities you are cultivating through our work!

Thank you for being here, let's keep this music alive!

With love and gratitude for you,

Jess

Raleigh County, WV
Raleigh County, WV
Sam Cadwell, GITC Programs Coordinator
Sam Cadwell, GITC Programs Coordinator
Terrie Catlow in Aurora, CO with a student
Terrie Catlow in Aurora, CO with a student

Links:

Feb 1, 2019

Taking it From the Top!

Russ Sperling, SDUSD & Lauren Shelton, CVESD 2019
Russ Sperling, SDUSD & Lauren Shelton, CVESD 2019

Hello, Friends of Special Learners,

I am writing you this month to share some amazing news. Thanks to your generosity and encouragement, our special education team has grown and we are on the move! Since the last time you got a report on this initiative some fantastic education leaders have taken up the effort to get music to kids in special day classes with GITC.

Longtime GITC Classroom Teacher at Kearney HS in San Diego, Meghann Hughes has become the chair of the Special Education Caucus for the California Teacher's Union. She invited GITC to share her table at the recent New Teachers Conference for the Southern California Region. We put ukuleles and a guitar out and were approached by 65 different special ed teachers who are interested in training to bring music into their classrooms. Now Meghann wants GITC at each state level conference and is hoping to help us offer a workshop in 2019-2020. Thank you, Meghann!

And in January, Director of Visual and Performing Arts in San Diego Unified, Russ Sperling put together a meeting with the leadership in SDUSD's Special Education Services Department. Russ and I met with the new director of Curriculum & Instruction for Special Education, Ms. Andrea Vinson and she is onboard to help any special ed teacher in San Diego access GITC training through a carefully structured implementation plan for this- our home district. We are in the planning process now and welcome district Home Office teacher Stefanie Torres to the team. Stefanie has been assigned to help implement GITC for the district. This is a great bit of progress. Andrea Vinson and Russ Sperling ROCK!

Next Month (February) we begin planning to make great progress in our neighboring district, Chula Vista Elementary School District with the great Lauren Shelton. Lauren directs VAPA in Chula (on the border with Mexico) and she has grown that music program into a formidable one in which every sing student gets music education. Three cheers for her and Chula Vista. We are so excited to serve there!

I realize that this report is all about grown-ups. But these grown-ups are special. They are all heroes for the kids and because they care so deeply, hundreds of thousands of children are going to benefit from their desire to champion this cause and to take action. Please stay tuned because good times and important lessons await just up ahead.

We are here because you care to be a part of the solution. Thank you for your amazing participation and encouragement!

For the children,

Jess

Meghann Hughes (right) at CTA Conference
Meghann Hughes (right) at CTA Conference

Links:

Jan 22, 2019

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!

March On Selma- We Shall Overcome!
March On Selma- We Shall Overcome!

Hello GITC Supporter.

We are writing to wish you a happy holiday as we celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You might ask what this important man's work has to do with songs for hope, help and healing. The answer is simple.

The success of Dr. King's work has been attributed to many things, and one of them is the inclusion of songs for hope, determination and inspiration. This article will bring you, our supporter, a phenomenal look back at the ten songs that were most sung during the fight for equal rights.

We are excited to share that several of these songs will be included in our songbook which is under construction and will be ready to share this spring. In honor to Dr. King and the work that was done to abolish segregation and move toward inclusion-  and the hard work ahead that must still be accomplished- we will devote a section of the songbook to these songs. Foe any child fighting for their human rights, their self esteem, their justice, these songs can give them strength and purpose.

The 8 songs include:

We Shall Overcome

We Shall Not Be Moved

Aint Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around

Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed On Freedom

This Little Light of Mine

Go Tell It on the Mountain

Eyes on the Prize

Oh Freedom

Thank you for your support of this project, We hope teachers in all the classrooms who receive it will teach at least one of these songs every year at this special time. Like us, we know you are looking forward to seeing it to its conclusion this school year! 

With gratitude,

Jess

Links:

 
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