From January through March of this year, we made more than 20,000 musical connections through our Community Outreach Programs. That compares to 18,000 during the same stretch in 2019, which was considered a banner year at the time. Thanks to the efforts of our Associate Director, Early Childhood Education Joshua Abeyta, Outreach Programs Manager Michael John McKee, and our team of instructors, we plan to reach even more students this fall.
These numbers are thanks in large part to Swallow Hill’s premier Community Outreach program, Little Swallows, which brings our music education class for 3-4 year olds out of Swallow Hill and into the classroom and hearts of students throughout the Denver metro-area who may not have access to music programs in their schools.
“I am so grateful that we were able to relaunch the Little Swallows outreach program this school year,” Joshua shares. “After enduring the two toughest school years in living memory, we are back to providing schools with much needed music programming, building relationships with the classroom teachers, and providing our instructors with a competitive wage.”
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Our outreach programs are provided to communities that are not traditionally receiving music education. The Little Swallows program is a strong example of successful methods for engaging diverse students through music, which have shown positive results with increased musical knowledge. Swallow Hill is able to provide free and affordable programming to the community because of the support of generous donations from corporations, individuals, and foundations. And in 2019, we were pleased to receive an alternate child care license status from the state of Colorado in order to accept donations that qualify for the Colorado Child Care Tax Credit.
Music education is a key component to a well-rounded, high quality education. The community saturation model used by Swallow Hill’s outreach programs amplify the benefits of music by providing weekly lessons using research-based curriculum and lessons. Every student will participate in 32-43 lessons during the school year (depending on the school’s calendar).
These programs benefit more than just the students, however. “Our Little Swallows Instructor Lorraine Perez recently expressed how much working for the program has impacted her life,” Joshua told us. “As a retired senior, she said that Little Swallows has created a new purpose for her.”
Lorraine has shared with Joshua how much happiness it brings her to be in the classroom on a weekly basis, and how the pay has helped her and her husband with rising costs while living on a fixed income. Set one foot into a Little Swallows classroom, and you are guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face.
In addition to returning to Little Swallows preschools, Michael John McKee, our Outreach Programs Manager, has been hearing from more schools and community centers eager to book music programming.
In the last few months we have brought interactive performances to schools and centers including Anythink Libraries, Tarver Elementary (Adams County), Peak Expeditionary School (Jefferson County), and Maple Grove Elementary (Jefferson County). We have seen 800 students through these performances alone. We have also started providing more K-12 programming, including partnerships with the New America School and Compassion Road Academy.
Finally, we are pleased to be offering music therapy programming in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center, and Wind Crest Senior Living Community.
We are able to achieve this incredible growth because the community believes – you believe – that we are doing important work. Help us continue to bring access to music education in our community by donating today.