Excellence in Education is music to our ears with grant for new band equipment | SierraSun.com

Excellence in Education is music to our ears with grant for new band equipment

In the 1962 musical, Music Man, Professor Harold Hill touted the virtues of young people joining a band led by 76 trombones and 110 cornets right behind. While the school district may not have quite that many trombones and cornets in its instrument rental program, it now has many more thanks to the Tahoe/Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation.The foundations Band Accessible to Everyone program was seeded with a $25,000 grant to purchase beginner-level instruments for students to rent on a sliding-scale rate. Purchasing instruments is costly, says Laura Abbey Brown, Excellence in Education executive director. Offering more rental instruments means more students can participate in these award-winning band programs.Brown explains the foundation refers to itself as the icing on the cake for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) students. The Tahoe Truckee Excellence in Education Foundation was founded in 1986 as a business/education partnership dedicated to supporting quality public education within the district. Importantly, the foundation raises money and provides grants, resources and partnerships to benefit students, teachers and the kindergarten through 12th grade educational community as a whole.Through the efforts of Excellence in Education, the students of our district have opportunities many other students in California are not privilege to, notes Steven Jennings, TTUSD superintendent. Being new to the district I am amazed at the positive impact this group has on the quality of education that is provided.The Grant Giving Program is funded by Skiing for Schools, Dining for Schools, Golfing for Schools, Friends of Education Membership, and Endowment Fund interest, as well as by corporate and individual donations. The communitys support of these programs has a direct connection to the classroom via the grants made by the foundation. Grant monies support programs specifically designed for students: to promote their interest in learning, to give them hands-on learning experiences and to encourage quality academic performance.During the 2007-2008 school year, Excellence in Education granted $262,646 to the classrooms and programs of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD). The larger grants went to the North Tahoe Middle and High School band programs to expand their instrument rental fleet; to Arts for the Schools, and for a new Winter Discovery Program to be implemented by Sierra Watershed Education Partnership and Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association. Also, a recent Excellence in Education grant was provided to the school district to hire a consultant to develop and implement a technology plan and student technology standards.Additionally, thousands of dollars were awarded through the fall and spring grant cycles where individual teachers apply for grants, which provide program materials that would otherwise be missing from the classrooms. The Foundation also recognizes exceptional teachers as well as classified employees through the Linda Brown Fellows and Star Awards programs. For more information or to become a Friend of Education, please visit http://www.exined.org or call 550-7984.