CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia Curator of the Arts Randall Reid-Smith and Chiho Feindler, senior director of programs and policy for the Save The Music Foundation, to announce the eight West Virginia middle schools that will be receiving grants in support of their music programs.
The eight middle schools that were part of today’s announcement include:
Kasson Elementary/Middle School (Barbour County)
Huntington East Middle School (Cabell County)
Meadow Bridge Pk-6 (Fayette County)
Hannan Junior/Senior High School (Mason County)
Pike View Middle School (Mercer County)
Lenore Pk-8 (Mingo County)
Buffalo Middle School (Wayne County)
Herndon Consolidated Elementary/Middle School (Wyoming County)
These middle schools will receive an average value of $40,000 in musical instruments and ongoing program management and materials through the program.
“We should be so proud with what we’re doing in West Virginia, especially what we’re doing with the arts and music,” Gov. Justice said. “We should be so proud. Today is just another day of amazing accomplishment.”
The grants announced today were made possible by the Save the Music Foundation, which partners with public school districts to donate grants in the form of new musical instruments, technology, equipment, and resources for music teachers and school leaders.
Since 2010, the partnership between West Virginia and Save the Music has provided matching grants totaling $4.8 million to 120 schools in all 55 counties across the state.
“I wanted to really emphasize that West Virginia is the only state in the entire country that we get to do this throughout the whole state,” Feindler said. “Our commitment is to be in every middle school.
“We do this because we know that you’re committed to music and art education here in West Virginia,” Feindler continued. “Thank you so much for your support and for being a great leader and partner of this project.”
Additional education officials and music teachers from across West Virginia joined Tuesday’s announcement as well.
“I want to thank the Governor for his support,” said Jeff Bryant, Superintendent of Greenbrier County Schools. “I am still fortunate to network with band directors throughout the nation and I say this without reservation: there is no Governor and no Curator of the Arts in this nation that support band music and music education like Governor Justice and Randall Reid-Smith. There are none even close, and I say that with full confidence.
“Before the Save the Music Foundation came to West Virginia, bands were suffering,” Bryant continued. “Bands were getting smaller and smaller. This program has revitalized that passion.”
“I want to thank the Governor, Curator Randall Reid-Smith, and Save the Music for all their work,” said Joey Wiseman, Director of Middle and Secondary Learning at the West Virginia Department of Education. “One of the things we have to remember is that music positively impacts all of our students. It helps their academic performance, assists in developing social skills, provides an outlet for creativity, and is crucial to our children’s development.”
“I’d like to thank Save the Music and recognize the Department of Arts, Culture and History and the Governor’s Office,” said Michael Knepper, Band Director at Musselman High School. “It’s been great to be working as a family to help produce and cultivate wonderful, relevant music-making experiences for kids.”
After announcing the schools that will be receiving grant funding Tuesday, Gov. Justice presented Feindler with an Honorary West Virginian Award in recognition of her contributions to music education across the state.
About the Save the Music Foundation:
The Save the Music Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps students, schools, and communities reach their full potential through the power of making music. Founded in 1997, Save the Music partners with school districts and raises funds to restore music programs in public schools.
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