ENCOURAGING SOUNDS: Area youth are reaching their musical potential through the Mayor’s Mentoring to the Max program. The goal of the Mentoring to the Max with Music program is to recruit active and retired musicians, as well as high school and college music students, and others interested in music to become music mentors for 4th and 5th grade students this fall. Forty more mentors are needed to make the program a success.
Courtesy City of Tulsa
Greetings, You can help change the life of a child by being a mentor. Why is this so important for our community? Tulsa’s dropout rate is too high. It impacts crime and our city’s economic health. Mentoring has been proven to keep kids in school, improve their grades and reduce crime.
The Mayor’s Mentoring to the Max initiative began in January 2007 and was an outcome of the 2006 “Building a Safer Tulsa” gang summit that I hosted with U.S. Attorney David O’Meilia. The summit focused on formulating real solutions to keep at-risk kids off the streets and out of gangs.
Our Mentoring to the Max initiative has taken mentoring to a whole new level with a brand-new program called, “Mentoring to the Max with Music.” It is another inspiring and powerful way to reach our young people, for music gives kids a better chance of learning and boosts their self-esteem.
The goal of the Mentoring to the Max with Music program is to recruit active and retired musicians, as well as high school and college music students, and others interested in music to become music mentors for 4th and 5th grade students this fall. A pilot program will take place at Eugene Field and Kendall-Whittier Elementary Schools during after-school time.
Right now we are still in need of 40 mentors to help us make the pilot program a success.Eugene Field Principal Cindi Hemm and Kendall-Whittier Principal Judy Feary are both looking forward to offering special music classes for their students this fall. “Mentoring to the Max has been so successful at our school that we were thrilled to move it to a new level with music,” said Cindi Hemm, “because music speaks to our soul!” Judy Feary said, “Music mentors will allow our students in the Mayor’s Mentoring to the Max program the experience of working with professional musicians and further their involvement with the strings programs.
”Mentoring to the Max with Music came about through the vision and talent of Dr. Barry Epperley, artistic director and conductor for TCC’s Signature Symphony. Dr. Epperley is dedicated to bringing back music programs in our Tulsa area schools. Music mentors will help teach children how to play instruments such as strings, flutes and keyboards, as well as help them with vocals.
The City of Tulsa Mayor’s Office, joined by the following Mentoring to the Max partners is committed to bringing awareness to Tulsans about the great need for mentors and positive after-school activities in our community: Community Service Council () of Greater Tulsa, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma, Camp Fire , Junior Achievement, Junior League of Tulsa, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence (Molly and David Boren’s Mentoring Initiative), Partners in Education, Resonance, Tulsa Public Schools and Union Public Schools. And thanks to great corporate friends like Bank of America and the Walton Family Foundation who are willing to invest in the future of Tulsa, we can provide more programs and opportunities for our 18 community schools in the Tulsa Public and Union Public School districts.
Anyone with a passion to make a difference in our community can be a mentor – whether it is math, art, music or just being a caring friend!If you can spend an hour or two a week teaching a child how to play a stringed instrument or helping them with vocals, or share your other talents, then I encourage you to call the 2-1-1 Helpline and tell them you want to be a mentor. We particularly need music mentors.Just one hour a week has the potential to change a child’s life forever. Let’s bring out the best in a child and get “Mentoring to the Max” and “Mentoring to the Max with Music!”