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Suzanne Delahunt

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Center For Arts Education, Inc.
November 1, 2010

When I first started teaching at PS 206K, the Joseph F. Lamb School in Brooklyn, there was no music program. I despaired as to how we could introduce instruments into our school, since although I am a certified Music teacher, I had no expertise in strings. A Project Arts Coordinator suggested I write a grant to the CAE-NYC/PAAP, and see if we could win a grant to teach strings in our school, starting with our parents. I was getting my Masters at Brooklyn College and was studying the methodology of Suzuki, and realized we had a perfect fit! " Teach the parent and you will reach the child." Our PA gladly came on board and pledged money to purchase the violins, and offered their assistance as well. We won the grant, and for the next eight years continued being awarded because our program, String Fling was a great success. From there we were awarded additional grants for violin study by NYC Councilmember Lew Fidler, and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein. We developed a fantastic partnership with the Brooklyn Philharmonic, who became more than a partner, by extending every resource and opportunity to our students. Indeed, they became our dear friend. Each year our grant was renewed, we innovated and evolved, adding more instruments, more students, and more services to ou families; no longer just parents. I became a site visitor, panelist, and grant reviewer, tasks that I loved, because they clearly demonstrated the success of the PAAP programs, citywide. Our PAAP even appeared on a video with Mayor Bloomberg, as a witness to the sucess of this program. The most important result of our PAAP program however, was in the day school. The year following our program, we had violins, and a teacher in the school for almost every grade. This was due to our evening PAAP violin program. Our PA was so thrilled to be learning violin, that they insisted the children must have the same experience; and they did! Parents, staff, teachers, all became involved in our PAAP violin program, even the community was touched by it. Additionally, student teachers from Brooklyn College had an opportunity to study and become involved as well. The violin program still exists today, although I am no longer teaching at PS 206K. PAAP changed the climate and direction of a school. It is an extraordinary program that must continue in its efforts to bring the Arts to all children, parents and families in NYC. I know PS 206K will always be greatful for the seed that PAAP provided to build our house. Thank you CAE-NYC/PAAP, for making so many things possible!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The school at which I taught. Also, I personally learned how to play violin, and teach it on a basic level. Additionally, I gained tremendous insight into the grant writing process.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them more funding, so more schools could experience the PAAP, and other programs, and permit existing programs in schools to continue.

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & I wrote the grant, implemented it, taught violin, which I learned at our PAAP program, sat on review panels, was a site visitor, and mentor.