B.J. Ward Elementary School students will be the beneficiaries of the initial music instruments donations from newly formed Bolingbrook CHIME! (Children Having Instruments for Music Education.)
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The volunteer-based group of concerned citizens committed to locating, renovating and providing new or used musical instruments to low-income children in the Valley View School District, will work with Ward staff to determine who will receive 15 instruments that were donated in the group’s first instrument drive held at several Bolingbrook churches Jan. 27.
Aimee Rupsis, Director of Bands at Bolingbrook High School and founder and Chairperson of CHIME! said the group is patterned after a similar and very successful 15-year-old program called PING (Providing Instruments for the Next Generation) in Oak Park and River Forest.
CHIME!’s goal is to secure enough instruments through donations to meet the needs of all low-income students in Valley View who wish to participate in
instrumental education programs. CHIME! funding comes from independent grants and donations.
“We selected the students of B.J. Ward Elementary School as our initial recipients of these donated instruments for this year based on the percentage of students who demonstrate financial need,” Rupsis said.
Discussions are being held with the school administration and music educators at B. J. Ward to develop a solid plan for choosing specific students and managing the instruments.
The group expressed thanks for the support it has received thus far from the community and urged community members to get involved in this worthwhile project. A $25 donation buys music books and supplies for a student for a year and $50 will repair or tune-up an instrument. The group is also looking for additional volunteers to assist with the program.
“Your support will assist us in giving the gift of music to all children in our schools,” Rupsis said. “Be assured that every dollar or instrument donated to
CHIME! directly impacts some child in a very positive way.”
Additional information is available by contacting Rupsis at RupsisAA@vvsd.org.
Editor's note: This press release was submitted by Valley View School District 365U.