When school begins next week, grade 6 and 7 students at Alexis Park Elementary will be greeted with some new instruments, thanks to a $5,000 grant from the MusiCounts Band Aid Program.
The latest application intake saw over 300 applications from elementary, jr. high, secondary and school music programs from across Canada. A total of 80 schools were awarded grants in allotments between $5,000 and $15,000, including Vernon’s own Alexis Park Elementary.
Through the awarded grant, music teacher Nicole Shaver was able to purchase 25 guitars, 13 ukuleles, junior hand bells, and a bass bar.
“A couple years ago, our students had the opportunity to play with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra,” said Mrs. Shaver. “This was an experience of a lifetime and we want to continue to give the students these types of opportunities.”
Mrs. Shaver and a few students came to the school earlier this week to unpack the boxes of instruments. “It’s like Christmas,” said one student, excitedly strumming one of the guitars.
“I believe that music can help in all aspects of a student’s education, so having a strong music program is important,” Mrs. Shaver continued. “Since I started at Alexis Park, I have been working at replacing older and broken instruments. The students are going to love this.”
Mrs. Shaver is not alone in understanding the importance of music in schools. Numerous studies say students learn to improve their work by promoting craftsmanship, students stay engaged in school and tend to have higher self esteem and are better at coping with anxiety.
The new instruments for the music room is just the beginning of many great things happening at Alexis Park this year. We can’t wait to share more of their stories in the coming months.