The recent increase of grass roots support throughout Florida has allowed GITC to establish new music integration programs that will bring the benefits of music participation to students in Jacksonville, Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. Awareness and funding in these cities is being generated by local advocates and activists who are choosing to make a difference in their communities by helping Guitars in the Classroom provide crucial training to teachers.
Jessica Padron, a 24-year old resident of Miami and the founder of the south Florida online music magazine, Grunge Kat, worked day and night for weeks to launch the first of several awareness and fund-raising events for GITC. Dedicating her energies to securing, planning, promoting and staffing a music performance booth at the recent Miami Music Festival, Jessica was able to raise enough money to launch GITC’s first teacher training program in Miami. Partnering with Jessica was Florida-based Luna Guitars and Yvonne deVilliers, who donated a beautiful, limited-edition, Henna Oasis Cedar acoustic guitar for silent auction.
“I created Grunge Kat Magazine to support the advancement of local musicians and also to raise awareness of the importance of education through music because I believe music is a key component in a child’s healthy development both socially and mentally,” says Jessica. “As an organization that combines music and education, GITC gave Grunge Kat an opportunity to support music integration and contribute to giving teachers the tools they need to introduce education through music to their students. I am extremely grateful to Jessica Baron and the entire GITC organization and look forward to our next event.”
In another generous and astoundingly profound effort to support GITC, South Florida residents Al and Colleen Glass reached out to the organization after their adult son Alex passed away tragically in September, 2009. Honoring his passion for music and guitar, and the difference the instrument made in their son’s life, the Glasses have contributed to GITC and asked all of Alex’s friends and loved ones to do likewise. Through this concerted effort the family has raised enough funds to support GITC programs in multiple locations while also creating a living legacy for Alex and assuring that his 5-year old son Connor—along with thousands of other youngsters—will share his father’s love of music every day through GITC’s classroom music programs.
Working closely with GITC’s executive director, Jessica Baron, individuals like the Glasses, Jessica Padron and many others are building a lasting foundation for GITC and music integration in their state and throughout the country.
Guitars In The Classroom is a non-profit organization that provides innovative musical training for classroom teachers so all students can experience the joy and essential benefits of making music. Its programs deliver ongoing instruction, access to instruments, and educational materials that weave music across the academic curriculum in sustainable, grassroots programs, nationwide.