Congratulations to the February 2014 winner of West Music's Money for Music contest, Carly Huhn! Carly shared this story about how she supports her music classroom and some of her fundraising ideas. Thanks for sharing the ideas with us, Carly! As a way of saying thanks, we'll be giving her a $100 West Music Gift Card to spend on her classroom!
"One person who had to raise support for her living expenses shared, “This experience is like a treasure hunt. The money is out there, you just have to know where to find it.” I agree completely when it comes to fundraising.
My name is Carly Huhn, and I teach general music at Bowman Woods Elementary School. Bowman Woods is one of seven elementary schools in the Linn-Mar district, a 4A school in eastern Iowa. There are approximately 400 Kindergarten through 5th grade neighborhood students.
When I arrived at my school, there were already many resources in place. However, many instruments were lacking or in need of replacing. My classroom desperately needed Orff, classroom, and folk instruments. In addition, I wanted to provide live artist performances for students to watch.
There are many different fundraising opportunities available, but the best way I have found is through writing grants. Grants are a funding source whose does not need to be reimbursed by the applying organization. Some examples of grants are foundations (through the county, school district, or business corporations), educational grants (government programs such as Arts in Education), and professional music organizations (where the music teacher is a member such as Organization of American Kodaly Educators and Sigma Alpha Iota). All the teacher needs to do is provide the requested information by the deadline. Once you fill out the application, watching your school mailbox becomes an event you look forward to everyday because there could be good news!
In the past five years of teaching in Iowa, I have helped write over $15,000 in grants to purchase instruments, provide funds for field trips, and bring in professional musicians. I am constantly considering my students’ needs and providing them with quality education. The treasure is out there—you just need to look for it!"
Interested in joining the contest? Send us your successful or new ideas on how to fundraise for your classroom to firstname.lastname@example.org. We pick a winner each month and feature them!