Even though my school is located in the area of our state with the highest level of homelessness my students are hard working, excited, and wonderful despite the trauma many have endured. Every week in music class they create, practice, and perform like the professionals that they are. They persevere through high expectations and exceed my expectations almost daily. I am constantly surprised by how much they are capable of and to do and how much they learn each day.
As a means of creating more cultural awareness in our community my school has held a highly successful Cultural Night for the past several years which highlights the cultures in our school. Over 500 people have attended the event each year and interest and engagement from our students and parents is higher in this event then for any other. We have successfully represented most of the communities within our school, but one of our largest has not had the representation they need.
The Marshallese population in our town makes up one of the highest percentages of English Language Learners (26%), but the city as a whole does not know a lot about their culture and history.
We have worked every year to create opportunities for the Marshallese student sin our school to perform and one thing they have always wanted to do to demonstrate their culture is to play ukuleles.
To help them we would like to purchase ukuleles for the students to perform with and learn on. They would have access to the instruments as part of an after school program and would use them to perform at our Cultural Night in May. The ukulele ensemble would be led by a member of the Marshallese community and learn traditional songs and, hopefully, dances which they could display at the performance in May.
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