Fundraising Efforts Save Greater Victoria School District’s Elementary Music Program

After the Greater Victoria School District Board passed a budget that did not include funding for the Elementary Strings music program, parents stepped up and raised money to make up the difference.

At Monday’s school board meeting, Karin Kwan, representative of the Advocacy for Music In Schools (AMIS) group, said the group had successfully raised the $208,000 needed to fund the program for another year.

“I know there are a lot of parents and students watching tonight who will be extremely excited about this news,” Kwan said during his presentation to the board. “We believe the Elementary Strings program is a shining light in the Greater Victoria School District. Parents, students and the community clearly believe this is a program worth saving.

The funds, which Kwan said were to be used solely for the Elementary Strings program, were accepted by the board in a 5-2 vote.

Trustees Tom Ferris and Elaine Leonard voted against accepting the funds. Ferris said he’d like to see the funds spent on writing or arithmetic programs instead, and Leonard raised concerns that the ropes program isn’t offered equitably to all schools. district elementary.

Administrator Ann Whiteaker said the community raising money to save the program shows it’s a valuable part of elementary schools in the district.

“What I hear from parents, students and teachers, and see in the fact that in two weeks they raised $200,000, is that we made a mistake,” Whiteaker said. “We made a mistake when we passed this budget, we cut the strings, we didn’t listen. They want strings and we are responsible to our population and to our people to provide them with what they want.

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