One of the pillars of the HSD Strategic Plan is to forge “strong partnerships with families and community. A personal goal for me has been to professionally combine my two interests of music and library. This grant would be a great way to accomplish both! ~ Michael Bento, Librarian, Gregory Heights Elementary
The grant’s idea was to bring live music from our music specialist, Kevin Shintaku, and his bluegrass ensemble, Barleywine Revue, into the library for a concert, creating a community outreach event and ask for a book donation for our library as admission. It turned out to be much more.
Our Gregory Heights PTSA joined in and together we created “Bluegrass, Books, Pizza and More!” The PTSA hired two large bouncy houses, gave away free pizza, organized games, art activities and gave attendees colored passes to attend the music shows in our library. The musicians performed well and the library was really a new place, with live acoustic music and chairs for all, creating an intimate concert space.
Estimating about 250 students and families in attendance, a good time was had by all. Kids got to romp and play in the bouncies and create art work, parents got to see and be involved in our school as well as feed their families pizza for free, and all got to spend time in our library in a new way. Several Gregory Heights staff members attended on their own time, some with spouses, and two staff members to sit in and play a song with the band.
The book donations were helpful with our library receiving about a dozen brand new books (picked from a library generated wish list) and about 75 used books for our Dollar Book Store Program (also started with an Excel Grant).
- Many students were in attendance and many heard the live bluegrass music in the library
- Families were in our school and library, perhaps some for the first time
- The GH library and Dollar Book Store received many new or gently used books
- A tightening of the bond between PTSA and the library
- “Let’s do this again next year!” was heard multiple times. Perhaps a new tradition has begun!