Giving Makes a Difference
Giving can make a big difference in expanding learning opportunities for students in Shorewood Schools. The Shorewood SEED (Supporters of Excellence in Education Development) Foundation has helped raise over $200,000 annually to help fund projects, academic programs, student and teaching activities, and other needs of the Shorewood School District since 2003.
iMac Computers For Band Practice Rooms
During the 2012-2013 school year, $7,500 was awarded to Shorewood Intermediate School band teacher Justin Olson. Thanks to the grant that SEED provided, Olson was able to purchase iMac computers for band practice rooms at both SIS and SHS, with the goal of integrating technology in order to enhance the educational opportunities for students who play instruments.
1.) What inspired you to write the SEED grant?
The band program had only two computers located in practice rooms. These computers were 15 years old and no longer functioned in terms of supporting the music software that the band program uses to help students learn and be assessed on their music. Knowing that the practice rooms could be utilized much more efficiently and successfully, the Band Parent Association and band staff all agreed that applying for a SEED grant would be a great way to try and finance this goal, considering all the amazing technological and other educational grants that this generous organization has contributed toward in the past.
2.) How did you determine that iMacs would be the best investment for the band program?
The music software program that the band department uses is called SmartMusic, which has been designed for Apple computers. The iMacs would remain stationary in each practice room and be perfect to allow all students access to this incredibly helpful musical assessment program throughout each school day, and after school as well.
3.) How has the SEED grant impacted the band program thus far?
Some years ago, SEED has also helped sponsor the "Jazz Fronts" used on all our concerts. Since the SEED-funded technology grant has been received, the band program has been positively impacted in so many ways. First, a huge number of band students now come in to the band practice rooms to practice their music and scale tests with SmartMusic now available on these computers. Students' interest and excitement for playing, as well as their musical and technical proficiency, have increased due to this wonderful opportunity from the SEED Foundation.
4.) How have additional resources expanded students' learning experiences?
My ability to differentiate instruction to individual students through assignments customized to each student's needs has become limitless with the use of technology. I am now able to provide personalized feedback and instruction through SmartMusic while students are using these computers.
5.) Were you optimistic that your grant proposal was going to be chosen for fulfillment?
While writing this grant proposal, I described and focused on the positive impact this would have on the students' learning, which made me feel confident that it would be seriously considered, especially knowing that SEED is all about maintaining the highest standard of education.
6.) Why do you think philanthropy is important for Shorewood Schools?
As educators, we all understand that our budget is usually limited to the bare essentials or general materials from year to year. Without private fundraising initiatives, such as improving the quality of education in Shorewood achieved by the SEED Foundation, I feel that teachers might not even have the motivation to attempt to propose these often costly things for their students, such as Courage Retreats, the Watershed Wisdom course, funding computer labs, and so much more!
For more information about how you can support new learning experiences for students in Shorewood Schools, visit the SEED website at www.shorewoodseed.org or contact Ted Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org or 414-961-3161.
Monday December, 15, 2014 at 09:50AM
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