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Georgia Southern University Receives $76,000 Donation from Gretsch Foundation to Establish Music Education Partnership with the Boys & Girls Club

Georgia Southern University has received a donation of $76,842.28 from The Sylvia and William Gretsch Memorial Foundation to create a unique music education partnership between the institution and the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County.  The donation, which will be paid during a period of five years, will provide funding for the new program which serves up to 400 at-risk K-12 students in Bulloch County.

“We are very appreciative of this donation and the generosity of the Gretsch family,” said Curtis Ricker, D.A., interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences at Georgia Southern.  “Not only does this donation establish a unique music education program for at-risk youth, it will help make a major difference in the lives of the children.”

The new program will be directed by a graduate student from Georgia Southern’s Department of Music and supervised by the University’s Director of Music Education.   The Boys & Girls Club transports students from the Club to campus, where lessons are offered in guitar and percussion.  Instruments will be provided and classes will be divided into 10-week sessions. After each session, participants can elect to repeat the program, attempt the next level or move to a different instrument.

Ricker says it is a win-win for the Club and Georgia Southern. “Children at the Club will benefit from learning about music and Georgia Southern’s students will gain skills relevant to their future music education career.”

The program will be evaluated annually by a research team from Georgia Southern’s College of Education. The team will evaluate the number of students served, new vs. continuing students served, student progress on their instruments, Club attendance measured in pre- and post-program participation vs. non-participants,  pre- and post-program participation scholastic achievement vs. non-participants and student perceptions of the program.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement.  In 2012, the University was named one of the Top 10 most popular universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report and is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.

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