Sustaining education

When Sheila (Yoder) ’84 Baer, Villa Ridge, Mo., heard about the Glee Give a Note project sponsored by the National Association for Music Education, the Fox television network and Ryan Murphy, creator of Fox’s hit show, Glee, she wanted to participate. The project supports music education throughout the United States and awarded $1 million to music programs in jeopardy. Sheila teaches K-6 music at Beaufort (Mo.) Elementary School, a well-equipped music program, but she knew other music programs in the state weren’t as fortunate, especially in Joplin, which had been ravaged by a May 2011 tornado.

Sheila decided to submit a video for the project and donate the prize money if her submission won. With the help of one of her fifth grade classes, Sheila created a video with a song and poem explaining why the students at Emerson and Irving Elementary Schools in Joplin needed the money more than the Beaufort students.

The video was one of 60 chosen as a $10,000 second place winner, and is now helping students in Joplin benefit from quality music education.

“I wanted to do this because I have great tools in my classroom and others don’t,” said Sheila. “I know they are just things, but they are tools that help children succeed. Even beyond the material, it was a lesson to teach – even though we are given something, we can give to others who need it more.”

View the Beaufort Elementary School winning video.