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Newhall School District seeking donations for music program

Goal of $10K will be matched by Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation

Posted: December 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 18, 2013 2:00 a.m.

A chorus of elementary school children from the Newhall School District perform for the 2013 Winter Concert on Tuesday at Pico Canyon Elementary School. The school district is working to raise $10,000 to support music programs. The amount will be matched by the Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation. Signal photo by Charlie Kaijo.

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The Newhall School District is seeking donations from parents and community members to move closer to its goal of providing a musical instrument for each of its students.

That goal is at the center of a fundraising campaign for the district to meet the terms of a challenge grant issued by the Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation.

“I think the Newhall School District is very well managed and I think they spend their dollars carefully, and they do it to help the most amount of students possible,” said Tony Newhall, a member of the foundation’s Board of Directors.

Should the district raise $10,000 to go toward the purchase of musical instruments, the foundation will match that figure, according to officials.

“We are thrilled,” Brian Walters, president of the Newhall district school board, said of the grant. “We’ve had a long partnership with the Newhall foundation; the foundation has been very good to us and we have been able to show them we have used the money wisely when we get it.”

If the district is able to hit its $10,000 goal and receive matching funds from the foundation, it will be able to provide about 80 new instruments to its students, said Newhall district Superintendent Marc Winger.

“The challenge grant is about our desire to put an instrument in every kid’s hand,” Winger said Tuesday.

Musical instruments can cost hundreds of dollars, so it’s not always possible for families to rent or purchase instruments of their own, Winger said.

The Newhall district has been able to largely preserve its music program despite deep budget cuts brought about by the recession, an achievement officials said was a priority of both the board and the district’s administration and a result of fundraising from private sources as well as the Music Makers PTA — a support committee that raises money for the district’s music program.

“Parents have been very generous all the way through the recession whenever we’ve asked for their support,”Winger said.
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