Carrie and Tony Requist: Band is invaluable | SteamboatToday.com

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Carrie and Tony Requist: Band is invaluable

Strawberry Park and Soda Creek Elementary Schools are planning to cut the fifth grade band program from the curriculum, and we think this is wrong.

The fifth grade band program costs only one part-time salary for the 140 students it serves, hardly making a dent in the district's $20 million budget. The program, available free to all fifth graders (except for instrument cost), takes the students out of their classroom for just 1 hour and 40 minutes per week, a total of 54 hours during the entire fifth-grade school year.

For that, fifth-graders receive an invaluable introduction to and instruction in band instruments. Music requires focus, concentration and physical movement. Numerous studies show that music education, especially in the elementary years, contributes to brain development and higher test scores.

The fifth grade band program is the foundation of the middle and high school bands. These bands have grown dramatically lately, continuing the benefits of music education for far more students than in the past.

If the fifth grade band program is eliminated, we can expect a drop in the number of middle and high School students receiving this important education.

We are parents who know how valuable this program is and how much it can contribute to a student's love of learning and academic success. That is why we think it is necessary for this program to continue, especially considering the low investment that it requires.

The decision will be heard by the School Board on Monday night. Please let the School Board, the principals and the superintendent know that you value the fifth grade band program by contacting them.

Steamboat Springs School Board members:

■ Robin Crossan: 970-871-1284, crossanrobin@yahoo.com  

■ Lisa Brown: 970-879-5969, Lisabrown@zirkel.us

■ Denise Connelly: 970-879-1910, dbconnelly@msn.com   

■ Laura Anderson: 970-871-4873, laura.lr.anderson@gmail.com  

■ Brian T. Kelly: 970-879-0045, btksurvey@comcast.net

■ Superintendent Shalee Cunningham: 970-879-1530, scunningham@sssd.k12.co.us

■ Soda Creek Elementary School Principal Judy Harris: 970-871-3396, jharris@sssd.k12.co.us

■ Strawberry Park Elementary Schoool Principal Celia Dunham: 970-871-3491, cdunham@sssd.k12.co.us

■ Steamboat Springs Middle School Principal Tim Bishop: 970-879-1058, tbishop@sssd.k12.co.us

■ Steamboat Springs High School Principal Kevin Taulman: 970-879-1562, ktaulman@sssd.k12.co.us

Carrie and Tony Requist

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Jeff and Trigg Gerber

Caroline Fisher

Julia Andrews

Theresa Lictenfels

Camille Fisher

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Deidre Saunders