Spring Break Program

In the fall, Neighbors’ House was blessed to receive two $2,500 Celebration Grants from the DeKalb County Community Foundation. The DCCF has been a great support to Neighbors’ House, not only through grants such as these, but also in their training for our staff and by coordinating Give DeKalb County, a community-wide fundraiser that we are privileged to be a part of. (See our blog post, “Give DeKalb County 2019” to find out more about this event!)

Former director, Ruth O’Donnell, had been dreaming of a spring break program for some time, and had always another dream of developing a curriculum that incorporated music education. These grants helped this Spring Break Music Vacation come to life for students at our Gideon Court program location!

With this funding, Ruth was able to partner with local music educator, Gail High, to develop a program that would engage the students in both literacy, art, and music elements. Neighbors’ House was able to fund the curriculum development, purchase instruments to use during the week, and provide materials for crafts, games, and other activities.

One highlight of the Spring Break Music Vacation was that each day of the program featured a visit from a “guest musician”. These were men and women from our local community who shared their experiences as music educators, professional chorus singers, songwriters, storytellers, worship leaders, and those with recorded albums! This was a treat for the students. The students were able to connect with each person and have an opportunity to hear them share their music and share more about their story and journey with music. This portion of the program really made an impact on the students! A huge thanks to local musicians, Matt CalioJen MillerGreg Wheaton, Gail High, and Drayton Eggleson for sharing their time and talent with our program.

Anyone who has had a chance to visit the students at Gideon Court since Spring Break has surely heard about this wildly successful program! We are thrilled that the curriculum connected so well with the students, and that they really developed a deeper appreciation for music. It was a highlight of the Neighbors’ House staff and volunteers to hear the students talk about how they connected with the music and the musicians.

Thank you, DeKalb County Community Foundation, Ruth O’Donnell, Gail High, and all of our musicians for making this program possible! What a gift for our kids!

Laura Heitzig