Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The National Association for Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.
The SupportMusic Merit Award recognizes schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Criteria for the SupportMusic Merit Award included funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the music-making programs.
“This is wonderful news and well-deserved both by our music education staff and the students they teach,” said District 64 Superintendent Eric Olson. “We’ve always been very proud of the work done by our music educators and this award validates the terrific job they’re doing.”
NAMM Foundation officials said research shows that after two years of music education, participants showed more substantial improvements in speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers. They claim that students who are involved in music are more likely to graduate high school and attend college.
The effort behind the award came from both District 64’s Instrumental Music Department, led by Curriculum Specialist and Teacher Erica Faulhaber and its General Music Department, led by Curriculum Specialist and Teacher Terry Broeker.
“Music has a profound impact on student learning,” Faulhaber said. “Making music education a priority in District 64 means our children will be better prepared for higher levels of learning beyond middle school.”
“We greatly appreciate District 64’s musical connection to the community,” Broeker added.
The District 64 Music program staff also includes Instrumental Music teachers: Eric Bachmann; Max Hellermann; Ilona Hutter; Natalie Jacobsen-Prim; Roxanne Kieme; Alex Teater; Jamie Zimniok; and General Music teachers: Colleen Carlson; Margaret Gorcik; Ilona Hutter; Alyssa LaTragna; Brian Kabat; Jenny Kapustka; Mike Kennedy; Alaina Knapp; Jessica Kwasny; Sean Rybak; and Cynthia Seputis.
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs.