Portable Sound System (2020-2021)
Project consists of the purchase of a portable sound system, including 2 Audix condenser microphones, booms, microphone stands, cords, 2 speakers, 2 monitor speakers, 2 speaker stands.
With this complete sound system, we will be able to present concerts with adequate sound, for choir performances, band performances, and drama productions. The system will also be used for recording and archiving purposes, giving us the ability to record performances and rehearsals.
This will also present the opportunity for students to hear their performances and presentations and have an archive copy for their families. It will also be especially helpful when performing or presenting outdoors, where sound amplification is especially necessary.
Jazz Bands (2019-2020, 2017-2018)
The band program at Palm Desert Charter Middle School (PDCMS) serves to enrich the lives of students by giving them the opportunity to learn, play, perform, and understand music. Currently, the band program has an advanced band, an intermediate band, 2 beginning bands, 3 jazz bands, a parade marching band, and a competitive drumline. In 2012, the total size of the program was 110 students. This year, the program is nearing 250 students. Of the nearly 250 students in the band program at PDCMS, 70 of these students are part of the jazz program. Jazz as a musical art form is easily lost with the vast musical genres available in today’s society. Jazz music is the first true American music art form and its music/history needs to be taught. It is not common for a school to have a jazz band, let alone a middle school. At PDCMS, there are 3 levels of jazz band. In most school jazz bands around the nation, the percentage of female participation is typically less than 10%. At PDCMS, nearly 40% of the group is female.
The exposure to jazz music and its history is important to our society. It is important not only for the students at PDCMS, but also for our surrounding community. Over the years, the PDCMS Jazz Ensemble has performed in numerous places including the Next Generation Monterey Jazz Festival, Open Call at the McCallum Theatre, State of the City for Palm Desert, Coronado Jazz Festival, CAMFest, and the Riverside City College Jazz Festival. The money provided by this grant will help PDCMS Jazz travel for performances allowing these students to showcase their love for jazz and give their community a taste of jazz music. In the past, we have had to turn down performance opportunities because traveling to venues not prepared for bands is extremely difficult due to lack of equipment. Our hope is to not have to turn down these performance opportunities anymore.
PASS Art Mentoring Program (2014-2015)
PASS is a fourfold in-school and after school intervention program that provides: 1) one-on-one counseling for at-risk students, students in crisis, and for any student in need; 2) training in attention and focusing skills; 3) character-education based writing improvement classes; 4) a bridge between youth and the community celebrating the passion of Art.
An in-school, all-day mentoring service for any student needing additional support. Through Individual Counseling, students learn to navigate difficulties while developing a stable mind and steady heart. With our school counselors carrying case loads of nearly 500 students, the need for this adjunct service that provides in-depth mentoring, especially for at-risk students, is critical.
An in-school, evidence-based method for training students to develop skills of attention and focus, stress management, and emotional balance, as well as the qualities of empathy and compassion. Attention Masters draws on multiple social and emotional learning disciplines to support student success.
An in-school, weekly writing intervention that inspires students to discover core values. Wisdom Writers ignites students’ imaginations and critical thinking by guiding them as they move from lack of confidence in writing to the composition of clear, powerful essays. Each sixteen-week session culminates in a highly moving Writes of Passage Essay Contest award ceremony.
The Art Mentors program unites artists in the community with young artists from Palm Desert Charter Middle School. Mentoring, a one-to-one connection between youth and elder, is one of the most powerful intervention strategies for helping young people to overcome challenges, while Art gives expression to their hopes and dreams.