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Jon-Philip Olson's Fundraiser:

Cesar Chavez Elementary Strings Program

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Jon-Philip Olson

THE STORY:

My school is in the highest poverty section of my city. We are in a state that ranks last in teacher pay and school funding. My school is only five years old. We are 98% Latino. Not only do I have students that are learning English, most parents do not speak English and are not that literate in Spanish. We have no PTA and no method of fundraising within our own school. We are in that much poverty. My children yearn for creativity. They need to be exposed to all the fine arts. Most have never been to a symphony concert, a choral concert, a play, a ballet, an opera or a musical. There is a rich culture of Latino music and art that I want to tap into. It is time to start and elementary string program at my school. When i say strings, not only do I mean traditional Western Art Music orchestra, but I want to add mariachi instruments. We need to tap into this existing culture and take advantage of how it teaches music! We have nothing but a dream to start this program. We have the dream, the space, and the ability to teach it, but we do not have instruments, stands, music posture chairs, or method books and music. We need these tools to teach the next generation about music and what it means to being human.

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