A gift of $50,000 was made today to the Ewing Education Foundation, earmarked for the Ewing High School Music department, made possible by the Carter Rowe Charitable Trust.
Presentation of this donation was made at Ewing High School auditorium by GRAMMY® Nominated Recording Artist Miss Amy, who played a key role in bringing together the donor and the school. “As parents, teachers, administrators and a community, we support this music program. We understand the potential that studying music can bring forth in kids. There is power in music!” Miss Amy explained. “It is our hope that this will inspire all of the other schools who did not place, to not give up, but to encourage organizations in the position to help to step-up and take action.”
School music programs need funding, but the story of how this grant emerged is an interesting one. In November a team of Ewing High School (EHS) students produced a video submission for the Glee Give-A-Note contest that awarded prizes to schools across the country for the best videos geared toward saving music education in schools. Many in the school started posting the contest entry to Facebook for visibility. The video caught the attention of Miss Amy, and she connected with folks who were also moved by it. Then, Miss Amy called Wayne Staub, President, and Heather Kerns Latini, Executive Director of the Ewing Public Education Foundation (EPEF), and organized a time for them all to see the music program in action, to observe the orchestra and choirs.
There were interviews with the student video producers about the music program and some of the other submissions to the contest. The students were asked about their experiences in the Ewing district elementary schools and Fisher Middle School, and asked why music is important. Responses ranged from, “music teaches about different cultures and languages” to “it teaches about history, and helps us understand other subjects like math.” Another replied, “Music is life – it’s everything!” When asked what the music department needed, the students collectively explained there is need for repair, replacement of instruments, newer tools and technology, such as sound equipment. When asked what they would spend the Glee money on if they won, the reply was that, although the need is great in the high school, it would be best spent on the feeder music programs in the elementary and middle schools in the district.
On December 15th the students were disappointed to find out they did not place in the Glee contest. However, a generous organization stepped forward to provide a consolation prize of equal magnitude to first place. The grant is to be allocated to the Ewing Schools Music Program by a committee of high school music students, Mr. Olson, EHS Instrumental Music Director and Mrs. Forness, EHS Vocal Music Director. “We at EPEF are so proud and honored to be part of such a wonderful donation,” said Executive Director Heather Kearns-Latini. “We work very hard every day to raise funds to give out grants which ultimately help our children in the Ewing Public School System. With donors like the Carter Rowe Charitable Trust and people like Miss Amy, it makes our job that much easier.” President Wayne Staub said, “We hope this shows other donors that we can direct donations to meet their giving needs.”
Contact: Anne Leighton 718-881-8183