The West Union Schools Alumni and Friends Educational Fund has presented its inaugural grant to the music department at West Union Elementary
This year students in Nancy Schneider’s music classes will benefit from a finely-tuned music room, newly carpeted, and surrounded by acoustic wall panels. Additionally, students in fourth and fifth grades will have the singular experience of seeing the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra perform at the legendary Music Hall in Cincinnati.
“On behalf of the West Union Elementary Music Department, I would like to express my utmost and deepest appreciation to the West Union Area Educational Grant Committee for awarding this allotment to our fortunate students to enhance the learning environment in the WU Performing Arts Department at the elementary level,” said Shneider.
“My goal is to prepare all the students in grades K-6 for an appreciation of music that will carry on in the near future as they approach and participate in all the wonderful musical opportunities at the JH and HS levels, and beyond in their adult lives. We’ve had over 50 graduates in the last decades to pursue careers in the performing arts. The grant will be providing funds for adding carpet to the music room to help with hearing and listening, a wonderful field trip to one of the best, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and providing written music packets for our annual Honor Choir that will perform at Waverly HS in November. Thank you for your continued support of the West Union Performing Arts Department, both financially and in attendance at our various performances throughout the year.”
Schneider has taught music in the district for 33 years.
“The West Union schools’ educational fund gives us an opportunity to support students and teachers,” said Roy Gabbert, member of the alumni committee, our grant gives Ms. Schneider the opportunity to kick start a lifelong love of music in our youngest citizen.”
The value and contribution of music to education has been studied extensively for decades. A twenty-year study cited on the Music.Mic web site, found that music lessons in the curriculum improves students’ cognitive and non-cognitive skills. The site lists more than a dozen skills that are improved by studying music including: reading and verbal skills, mathematical skills, listening and memory skills, and creative skills. It also has been found to raise IQ levels, enhance self confidence and self esteem, and increase students’ ability to manage anxiety.
The Alumni and Friends Educational Fund is an endowed fund promoting academic excellence and classroom enrichment. Gifts and donations to the fund are placed in an endowment account and used for educational activities that would not otherwise be possible, such as field trips, scholarships, and enhanced educational programs and activities.
A committee made up of alumni members, community leaders, retired teachers, and friends govern the account. Current committee members include: Charles Robert Blake, Marilyn Shell Knauff, Dennis Sizemore, and Roy E. Gabbert. The committee makes decisions on grants awarded from the fund based on applications from within the district.
The Alumni and Friends Educational Fund is established at the Foundation of Appalachian Ohio (FAO), a charitable community foundation serving 32 counties in Appalachian Ohio. The FAO mission is to improve the quality of life in this region by inspiring and supporting philanthropy, creating educational opportunities, and promoting the region’s expectations for success.