Students at East Ridge Elementary will soon be playing ukuleles in music class thanks to a $250 Music and Arts Grant the school received from California Casualty. The grant was applied for by Charlene Cook, the music teacher at East Ridge Elementary, and will allow the school to purchase a classroom set of soprano ukuleles.
“Once a class set of 30 is obtained, my colleague James Glass and I will be able to teach ukulele to all the fifth grade classes at East Ridge Elementary at the same time,” said Ms. Cook. “In the past, we had to share a set of ukuleles, which greatly slows down the learning process. Imagine, once we can do programs again, 60 ukuleles all on one stage.”
East Ridge Elementary is one of 146 public schools in 31 states receiving a total of $36,500 from the Music and Arts Grants.
"Art and music programs have long been shown to enhance a student’s critical thinking skills and creativity," officials said. "They also have been shown to improve concentration, motivation and confidence. With COVID-19 challenging communities and education programs, the arts play an even more critical role in helping children express themselves, connect with each other and process stress. For students in HCS at Home or when students learn remotely, the arts help them stay engaged in their virtual learning environment."
California Casualty’s Music and Arts Grants will give more students a chance to learn music, act in a school play or hone their artistic talents – in-person or virtually – throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. East Ridge Elementary students will learn more about music playing their ukuleles.
“Students love to showcase their creativity and help educators keep music, and the arts at the forefront of everyday learning is absolutely the right thing for us to do,” said Brian Goodman, assistant vice president for California Casualty.
California Casualty’s Music and Arts Grant program receives applications year-round. To be considered for a 2021 award, Tennessee public k-12 schools can apply for a $250 Music and Arts Grant at www.calcasmusicartsgrant.com.