Music teacher Jodi Bortz leads the Kent County High School band during the 15th annual Seasonal Sensations concert Wednesday, Dec. 13. Two days prior, the Kent Cultural Alliance announced a $15,000 gift to help purchase new instruments for Kent County Public Schools' music programs.
ROCK HALL — Thanks to a gift made possible by the Kent Cultural Alliance in partnership with the Shared Earth Foundation, music students here have some much-needed new instruments coming their way.
Kent Cultural Alliance Executive Director John Schratwieser announced the donation of $15,000 at the Kent County Board of Education meeting Monday, Dec. 11.
The funds will be used to purchase new instruments ranging from bell kits for elementary and middle school students to a new tuba and baritone saxophone for the high school band.
"Arts education is near and dear to the heart of the Kent Cultural Alliance, as it has been for its nearly 50 years since its inception by Vince Raimond and under its leadership by Leslie Prince Raimond," Schratwieser said. "The engagement in our public schools has been a top priority for us for that entire time."
Schratwieser spoke at the Dec. 11 meeting about the relationship the organization has built with all the fine arts teachers in Kent County Public Schools. He said the arts are part of the definition of a "well-rounded education."
"We want to be sure that the students at Kent County Public Schools get access to quality arts education," Schratwieser told board members. "We want be here as a partner. We want to do this together with you."
With art teachers in the audience at the meeting, Gina Jachimowicz, director of teaching and learning for Kent County Public Schools, recognized their work, calling them a phenomenal team.
"They make our students really shine," Jachimowicz said of the art teachers.
Board of Education President Joseph Goetz spoke about how valuable the partnership with the Kent Cultural Alliance is and offered his gratitude for the donation.
"Thank you everyone involved in this," Goetz said. "It's pretty incredible."
Board member Trish McGee also thanked the Kent Cultural Alliance and the Shared Earth Foundation for the gift.
"It's really wonderful that Kent Cultural Alliance is helping us out like that," McGee said. "This is an incredibly big and generous donation and it won't be forgotten."