Maud Public School students are able to participate in a newly-formed school band because of a generous donation from Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
“We were extremely excited to return the music program to our school in 2015-16,” Maud Public Schools Superintendent Jerry McCormick said. “The music program has provided more extracurricular opportunities for our students as well as enhanced school spirit and community involvement. CPN has also donated 30 hand drum kits which requires our students to make the drums. What a great cultural experience!”
CPN donated $1,560 which enabled Maud to purchase music curriculum for the entire school and will allow students greater accessibility in connecting with music through technology. In addition to assisting with the music program, CPN has also given the school district two maintenance trucks, a mini bus, a forklift, a generator, classroom supplies and a $10,000 donation to repair lights at the softball field.
“In a period of time in which all schools in Oklahoma have suffered greatly due to loss of funding, Citizen Potawatomi Nation has been very gracious in their giving to Maud Public Schools,” Superintendent McCormick said. “The generosity of Citizen Potawatomi Nation has allowed us to expand the educational experiences and opportunities of our students of which we are forever grateful.”
“Starting a band program is giving students who have no other outlet an option,” Maud Band Instructor Danyele Minton said. “Being in a band has challenges and rewards which are different than being involved in sports programs. Students are responsible for pushing themselves while simultaneously learning how to work as a unit. There is no bench in band, so each student has to uphold their part. Every part is equally necessary and important.”
Although the band is only in its second year of existence and making great progress, there is more to be done. The school administration is proud of their 30 students participating in the program, but up to three of them share one instrument.
“One of the main challenges we are facing is having enough instruments to serve the students who have an interest in band,” Minton said. “We are now primarily lacking in quality percussion instruments, specifically auxiliary percussion instruments like crash cymbals, tambourine and triangle.”
People can help schools like Maud by donating gently-used instruments to a school music program in their hometown and can also receive a tax deduction for the donation.
If an Oklahoma student needs financial assistance to afford a band instrument, the CPN Employment and Training Department could help. To learn if a student qualifies for the Johnson O’Malley scholarship, please visit http://www.potawatomi.org/services/education/johnson-o-malley.