CHARLESTON, W.VA. – The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History (WVDACH) and Save The Music Foundation visited middle schools across the Mountain State on Thursday, May 6 and Friday, May 7, 2021, to celebrate Save The Music grants to middle school music programs.
The twelve schools chosen this year to receive the matching grants include: Baileysville Elementary and Middle School, Brenton, Wyoming County; Blennerhassett Middle School, Parkersburg, Wood County; Central Preston Middle School, Kingwood, Preston County; Edison Middle School, Parkersburg, Wood County; Hamilton Middle School, Parkersburg, Wood County; Hayes Middle School, St. Albans, Kanawha County; Huntington Vinson Middle School, Huntington, Wayne County; Philippi Middle School, Philippi, Barbour County; Pineville Middle School, Pineville, Wyoming County; Richwood Middle School, Richwood, Nicholas County; Short Line Middle School, Reader, Wetzel County; and Winfield Middle School, Winfield, Putnam County.
Governor Jim Justice stated, “I could not be more proud of West Virginia’s partnership with the Save The Music Foundation. Making sure that our children have music as an outlet to express themselves is so important; it engages students, drives achievement, and brings off-the-charts goodness to our classrooms. I truly believe that music – and all the arts – are part of the fabric of who we are as a state, and I’m so happy that this partnership is providing more and more children with opportunities to find their passion for music.”
The West Virginia middle schools that have been awarded matching grants will receive an average value of $40,000 in musical instruments and ongoing program management and materials through the program. In attendance was Randall Reid-Smith, curator of the Department of Arts, Culture and History, department staff, and Chiho Feindler, senior director of programs and policy for the Save The Music Foundation.
“We are very proud of our 11-year partnership with the Save The Music Foundation,” said Curator Reid-Smith. “This partnership is an important tool for preserving and sustaining music programs for the state’s youth, and we will continue to provide instruments to new schools each year.”
“We are thrilled to be continuing our 11-year partnership in West Virginia where it is the only state-wide project that Save The Music Foundation has in its 24-year history,” added Feindler. “We thank Governor Justice, First Lady Cathy Justice and Curator Reid-Smith for ongoing support and leadership to ensure that music education stays in schools.”
The WVDACH, through a partnership with the Save The Music Foundation and matching monetary donors, is able to award grants for new musical instruments to any traditional West Virginia public elementary or middle school that has a certified music teacher and wants to build its instrumental music program. Since 2010, the partnership has provided matching grants totaling $4,480,000 to 112 schools in all 55 counties across the Mountain State.
The Save The Music Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps students, schools, and communities reach their full potential through the power of making music. Founded in 1997, Save The Music partners with school districts and raises funds to restore music programs in public schools. Since inception, the organization has donated over $60 million worth of new musical instruments, equipment, and technology to 2,201 schools in 277 school districts around the country–impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of students. Learn more about Save The Music and its efforts at www.savethemusic.org.