Thanks to your help with this project, GITC has been able to cover a shortfall in district funding for our guitar residencies in the continuation and alternative high schools in Los Angeles Unified this winter. We couldn't have done it without you. This included getting new guitars to both high schools so new groups of students could participate this semester.
The most recent development is that we were asked to participate in a special meeting in which John Hope High School underwent a review to make the grade for official accreditation. We didn't know what to expect when when we zoomed in. Schools can become highly stressed when they are under WASC review. But John Hope's inspired leadership looked at this as a communication opportunity. By inviting us into the conversation, it turned the discussion to creating a more meaningful, engaging and relevant educational approach by integrating music for teens in crisis.
The accreditors were so creative, compassionate and interested in how music is helping kids boost their social emotional well being. They were immensely inspired by the relevance for BIPOC students of teaching Blues guitar and songwriting with a focus on the life and music of Muddy Waters.
So rather than talking about grades and test scores, they started generating lesson ideas and asked us to send them information about our charitable work because they think more high schools need access.Their emphasis on the importance of supporting student identity, resilience, and well-being, especially in light of the impact of the pandemic, is so encouraging.
Thank you for taking a moment to celebrate with us this new sign of good things to come.
As the first semester of this school year comes to a close, principals and teachers continue to focus on building hope and healing as they seek effective ways to help students overcome the academic and social emotional disruptions caused by the pandemic. This is particularly important for at-risk older youth.
Thanks to your support, high school students are doing their best to overcome very difficult circumstances by learning to play guitar, sing, and compose songs of personal meaning this school year. Their teachers in two South Los Angeles (LAUSD) continuation high schools have been actively supporting them to make music together to rebuild their classroom communities now that schools meet in person, and to renew their sense of hope and promise. This month, each student who is completing a full year of free group guitar lessons after starting with GITC last winter gets to keep their guitar! Talk about giving kids in crisis a great holiday present… Your gifts are helping us make this amazing charity possible. It means so much to our students who are coping daily with poverty, housing insecurity, homelessness, hunger, and danger. What it takes to get through a day, a month, a semester, is so much determination and grit. We are proud of each and every one.
You can continue making a difference in the lives of these students. Through your generosity, we will be able to deliver NEW guitars and a full complement of acoustic guitar accessories to a new group of students coming into classes in January, just like you helped us accomplish when the current group started.
Ms. McGee, one of the principals, expressed her gratitude to you all, today. She asked us to “thank you for providing an opportunity for our students to learn music with GITC! Our kids receive very few services, and we deeply appreciate what you are doing for them here.”
In January, we will be so excited to welcome more students at these continuation high schools as they begin to sing, play, and create music for resilience! Your end-of-year 2021 gift can inspire them to devote their efforts to growing their musical and academic abilities and accomplishments in this critical turnaround year in their lives.
Please donate today and we will put your dollars to work the first day students return to school in January, with brand new guitars and all the trimmings. Let’s help all of these deserving young adults make it to high school graduation with a song in their hearts!
Wishing you vibrant health, joy, and inspiration now and in year to come,
Hope and New Opportunities with Music for At Risk Youth
By Gail Wingfield | Director of Development
Everyone Deserves Music!
The new school year brings a sense of anticipation and excitement. As students return to campus, principals and teachers are focusing on building hope and healing as they seek effective ways to help them overcome the academic and social emotional disruptions caused by the pandemic. This is particularly important for at-risk older youth.
Thanks to your support, classroom teachers who train with GITC have been able to bring courage, strength and resilience through our programs to students at continuation high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), and they are now welcoming them back into the classroom with music!
Ulyana Wms-Kohlmeyer, principal at John Hope Continuation High School said, “I believe that music and GITC teaching artist residencies have been, and will continue to be, the saving grace for our students. Because of GITC we were able to reach and teach our students through an art form that captured their attention and motivated them to sustain it. We would be missing a crucial opportunity to turn their prospects for the future around if we do not continue such programs.”
This month, through your generosity, we were able to deliver 25 guitars and a full complement of acoustic guitar accessories to a new group of students at two continuation high schools in LAUSD so they can begin training with us. We are so excited to welcome them as they start making music for resilience!
These students will be able to restore a sense of normalcy by building classroom community and a sense of belonging. They will have an opportunity to share their individual and collective musical experiences and preferences, and, throughout the year, will be able to see their own musical and academic growth and accomplishments, and look towards a brighter future.
Thank you for empowering GITC to provide a safe place and space for these students to grow and learn.
Wishing you health, peace and inspiration to keep making our world better,
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