Music Teacher Drums Up Success at Hewitt Elementary Dec05

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Music Teacher Drums Up Success at Hewitt Elementary

It all started with puppets and storybooks.

Elisa Crowder, the music teacher at Hewitt Elementary School, was awarded her first grant, Developing the Singing Voice Through Puppets and Books from the Midway ISD Education Foundation in 2003. Her purpose was to not only develop students’ music skills, but to en- courage reading and creativity through an interactive storytelling experience.

Crowder still uses puppets from her first grant program in her music classes.

Crowder still uses puppets from her first grant program in her music classes.

Since then, Crowder has been awarded six additional grants from the Education Foundation. Her creative ideas have turned her classroom into a truly unique learning environment.

“Providing a variety impacts different kids in different ways,” she said. “The programs all interact together.”

In 2007, her Small Hands, Special Hands – We Can 
All Play Instruments program funded a set of smaller instruments that are user-friendly to younger and special needs students. With a variety of materials, no student is at a disadvantage.

Crowder has even taken her programs outside the walls of Hewitt Elementary and into the community. Students have used their instruments to perform at a local nursing home. With the materials from STICKS, Clack, PADdy Whack!, second, third and fourth graders per- formed with the Baylor University Jazz Ensemble in February. “Hearing back from the Baylor students about how they were so impressed by my students was so rewarding,” Crowder said.

Even skills like teamwork and self-confidence are direct results of the programs in Crowder’s classroom. In one exercise, she has students work together to create their own unique beat on a drum pad. Then, the whole class works together to combine the beats into one.

Crowder’s grant ideas exemplify the mission of the Education Foundation. Her creativity and dedication to her students show how a grant impacts the educational experience of Midway students.

The Foundation recognizes teachers like Mrs. Crowder through the Midway ISD Education Foundation Honor Roll. Students, friends and family members can honor teachers who exemplify dedication to education by making a $20 contribution in his/her name.

Started in 2001, the Midway Education Foundation strives to support teachers and students by funding educational programs that aren’t covered under the district’s normal operating budget. None of the Foundation’s efforts would be successful without the generosity and support of individuals and businesses within the community. Their support has enabled the Foundation to award over $1 million in grants, in the last 12 years.  To learn more about the Midway ISD Education Foundation, visit their website at www.midwayisd.org/foundation.

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