Every year, Falls Church City teachers and programs apply to receive grants from the Falls Church Education Foundation’s (FCEF) Super Grants and Todd Hitt Fund for the Arts. These grants go directly toward such requests, which range from new band instruments to sending teachers to Harvard University’s Think Tank on Global Education. The FCEF can be accredited for the creation and improvement of so many programs in FCCPS.
A program that particularly stood out in requesting funding this year was a music therapy program for life skills students by NeuroSound Music Therapy. The program contains 30 music therapy sessions for life skills students at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School and George Mason High School to work with an instructor that helps them engage with music. Based on the success of the program last year, the FCEF decided to fully fund the program for this year and for the two to come, equalling $8,100 in total.
With numerous accounts from parents and teachers about the progress students made educationally, socially, [and] emotionally and student testimonials, the importance of this program is made clear.
One participant, GMHS sophomore Lucas Maddox, said that the program “is fun” and “is supposed to give us a voice.”
Students use instruments like guitars and boomwhackers in the sessions to heighten their responsiveness to cues from the therapist, a strong sense of alertness that is typically not seen in day-to-day classroom activities.
One parent wrote that “It is impossible to put into words the transformation I witnessed with the students and their love for this program and the instructor,” proving once again the importance of programs like these music therapy sessions.
This music therapy program is changing the lives of so many teachers, parents, and students in the community. This is only one way that the FCEF is helping students and teachers grow creatively and intellectually. With programs like these, students will be able to learn and discover in new ways, as they are equipped with the power to expand learning opportunity and equity of access.