Anderson Children's Foundation

Gerald Ford Elementary School

Drum Circles for Social-Emotional Learning (2021-2022)

This grant provides green, cleanable drums, along with an evidence-based curriculum, to assist in welcoming students back to school in a post-Covid environment . Drumming offers a non-verbal means of self-expression and engagement that can be useful in addressing trauma (van der Kolk, 2014). UCLA has developed an evidence-based and trauma-informed program that integrates activities from group drumming and group counseling to build core strengths such as focusing and listening, team building, leadership, expressing feelings, managing anger/stress, empathy, and gratitude. Engaging the students in active music-making engages large areas of the brain, which quite literally crowds out stress, grief, and pain. It also keeps us in the present moment (Tramo, 2001). In addition, repetitive rhythm promotes the relaxation response (Crowe, 2004) and can bring calm and centering through contained energy release.

Contact: Yvonne Bluto

Instruments for All (2017-2018)

Gerald Ford Elementary School, located in Indian Wells, serves a diverse population of almost 800 students. The 2016 – 2017 school year was the first year that every student at the school received music instruction. We are fortunate to have a very supportive Parent Teacher Club (PTO) that has provided the funding that enables us to offer music, art and reduced class sizes in PE. However, the PTO has not been able to support the funding that would provide enough instruments for every student to utilize while in class.

The Anderson Children’s Foundation Grant will provide a new strategy for full, active participation in music making. The goal of the grant is to increase student investment, motivation, and achievement through full active participation in music. This will be accomplished through this grant by providing students with instruments such as ukuleles, Orff xylophones and metallophones, and drums.