Lives can be forever changed by the addition of music and arts education! Learning how to read and play music while acquiring the skills needed to perform can lead to greater focus, better communication skills and the determination to succeed. Many studies have been done to show that music and music education can sharpen a developing brain, which leads students to acquire skills such as creativity, critical thinking and problem solving. Students involved in the arts develop these skills and abilities which can lead to greater success in school and adulthood.
As a parent and volunteer within RPS 205 and other music education organizations, I've seen this firsthand. My son Grant is a junior at East High School. He plays the violin, sings in various choirs, performs in shows and is even the front man for a cover band with other young musicians in the area. He's also doing well with academics and social-emotionally. We owe a lot of that success to the skills obtained within his music education.
In grade school Grant was having trouble making connections with other students. He also had trouble with focus, attention to detail and sensory processing. Grant's fourth grade music teacher recognized something in him and encouraged us to pursue music education. Grant is now using what he's learned to help younger students find their way involving music. On Saturdays, Grant is a student mentor to middle school children with the RPS 205 District Orchestra. Grant's experiences with education and his success thus far have led him to a career path. He is in the Education Pathway at East and wants to be a teacher!
In Grant's own words: "Music has pulled me from a place where I never want to go back. It helped me to navigate life, which can have so many hardships, a little easier. I've made friends that will last a long time, and I've learned skills that will serve me well. I'm so glad I was able to be involved in music in high school and wish to pursue it for as long as I can."
It is truly amazing to see how music and arts education can bring kids together, aide in their development and affect so much of their learning. As we celebrate All-City Fine Arts week for RPS 205, I can't think of a better time to share our experience and express gratitude to Grant's music educators and directors for their dedicated support, encouragement and expertise. Having this support over the years has meant so much to us.
Please consider supporting the Rockford Fine Arts Coalition. The Rockford Fine Arts Coalition is a registered Illinois 501(c)3 non-profit, a separate entity from Rockford Public Schools. The Coalition was created in 2018 by a group of Rockford Public Schools parents, employees and community members who wanted to generate supplemental funding for fine arts programs in RPS 205. The Coalition's mission is to preserve, support and promote fine arts programs and facilities in Rockford Public Schools.
Rockford School Board member Jaime Escobedo submitted his resignation from the board effective Wednesday, May 29.
All RPS 205 elementary and middle school students will follow a shortened schedule on Monday, June 3.
Ethan Strombeck will receive a $2,500 scholarship.
The elementary schools will close after this school year.
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