The foundation provides schools with important resources to expand music learning opportunities for students. The students gathered in the auditorium together where they watched a video of Brooke Taylor, a Disney Radio DJ announce that Jackson had won. Cheers and shouts of enthusiasm immediately rang out! The winning school receives $2,500 grant as well as a visit from a Disney Radio celebrity. There is mounting excitement as the students eagerly anticipate which celebrity will pay a visit to Jackson.
Mr. Benny D'Aquila, the Jackson principal, was bursting with pride. He noted that "at Jackson, we understand that ‘the heart of education is the education of the heart.’ Students on every grade level from kindergarten to fifth grade chose projects in keeping with the theme of giving back. The fact that our “We Are the World” video was selected as the winning video in the “Give a Note Foundation” contest is truly the icing on the cake. At Jackson, we are a world of dedicated students, faculty and families with a compelling commitment to community service."
Student efforts were all recorded in a video where students had the opportunity to “star” as they explained the personal significance of their projects. The entire school - students and faculty - gathered outside one bright sunny afternoon to spell out the words “We Are the World.” The students took great pride in their accomplishments and the video was posted to You Tube (search YouTube with the phrase We Are the World Curriculum Fair 2015). It was then entered into the “Give a Note Foundation” contest. Once again, the video was widely shared and students had the opportunity to participate in the voting process as they eagerly awaited the outcome. The students of course, were delighted to be selected as the winning video.
The Jackson students expressed their feelings that their new chorus teacher, Andrea Gonnella deserved extra special credit for her hard work, expertise, creativity and the countless hours that she spent planning and producing the video. Mrs. Gonnella, stated, “As a first year teacher at the George A. Jackson Elementary school, making the video became a vehicle for me to meet and collaborate with all my colleagues. This was a learning experience that was both academic and artistic for everyone involved. It was a great opportunity to showcase the talent of both the students and staff.”
Creating the video was both a learning experience as well as undeniable fun for the students. The project conveyed optimism, hope and the ability to make constructive and positive choices. Winning the contest underscored that rewarding achievements can be accomplished with skill, perseverance, determination and empathy. It served to encourage, challenge and inspire students to use their knowledge and skills to lead productive change in the world - to make a difference.
Pictured: The Jackson family spelling out “We Are the World.”