What does your dream classroom look like? What materials do you wish you had, but can’t afford? Your student’s deserve the best musical experience you have to offer them, so it’s up to you to get what you need. School budgets sometimes don’t allow for materials you want, however there are many ways to get funding.
This is not as daunting as it sounds. The trick is to make sure your request aligns with the vision of the grant. Be meticulous in your writing and emphasize the impact the funding will have on your students. Don’t forget to proofread!
If you have a relationship with teachers in a neighboring district, ask to share equipment. This is not a long term solution, however when we help each other out, we start to establish a united professional network. We are all in this together. Sharing with other teachers can lead to a great conversation about lessons and teaching practices – perhaps even result in a collaboration with the students.
Make sure you know your district’s fundraising policy before you begin a fundraiser. The students will definitely feel a sense of ownership and pride if they help raise money for the equipment they use in class.
When I first got in my classroom I had ten classical guitars without cases in the back of the room. My students desperately wanted to learn how to play, so I immediately sent out a email to the district staff asking for old or abandoned guitars. I posted on Facebook, and reached out to everyone I knew about my need for guitars. It’s amazing how many people buy a guitar with good intentions, then let it sit in an attic for years. Through my efforts, I had enough to get me through that first year!
Donorschoose.org has been a fantastic resource. It’s easy to set up, and gives you an opportunity to dabble in grant writing. Before you set up an account, check with your administration so you can have their support.
You know what your dream classroom looks like. You have the power to make your classroom incredibly inspiring. Go get what you need!