staying involved in our community
CSM strongly believes in partnering with and serving our local community and beyond. We partner with the Salvation Army in their annual Angel Tree and Tools for Schools campaigns. CSM has a sister school in Rwanda and sponsors service missions to Haiti to support local youth music programs.
Angel Tree is a program run by the Salvation Army, that gives Christmas presents to children whose parents would not otherwise be able to provide them with gifts. The annual Angel Tree program continues to be a huge success and the response from our CSM family has been incredible. CSM proudly adopts on average more than 150 Angels, helping families in need. Thank you all for your generosity!
Tools For Schools
The “Tools for Schools” program is designed to provide basic school supplies for children whose parents cannot afford the items necessary for their children to succeed in school. The Salvation Army Tools for Schools program helps to compensate for some of these basic expenses by supplying children with book bags, notebooks, pens and pencils, etc. The program serves on average 650+ students here in Loudoun County. The Catoctin School of Music supported Tools for Schools with supplies and volunteer hours to help pack up all the backpacks and ready them for their new owners!
The Rwanda School Project
We are so lucky to be living here in Loudoun County, where public schools offer free education to students ages 5-18. And it's a pretty great education, too--one filled with the core classes, but also art, technology, theater, and MUSIC! Imagine if those things were simply not there for us. That's what it's like for many kids in Rwanda at this time.
The atrocities of the 1994 civil war and genocide left a country in shambles that has been rebuilding from the ground up, and an educational system is not created overnight. At this point, free public school education is available for elementary school only. Private schools are popping up all over the country to alleviate this problem, and change is in the making. We have a connection to the Rwamagana Lutheran School (called the Rwanda School Project in the U.S.) and we are teaching our students about what it might be like to grow up in different circumstances. Through this connection, we can learn not only about the difficulties faced by another country's people, but also about their language, their music, their heritage and culture. What a wonderful way for our students to grow as human beings!
In May 2015, we held our first fundraiser for the Rwanda School Project. As part a "Practice-a-Thon", students volunteers gathered sponsors who donated funds for every hour these students practiced through the month of May. Yet another example of how music-making can be a force of change in MANY ways!
A letter from the Rwanda School Project:
Dear Yvonne and CSM,
I'd like to send you a BIG THANK YOU for the 12 guitars our students are now using in our music program because of your student's generosity and the practice-a-thon that CSM held last year to generate funds for us to purchase these guitars! If you visit our Facebook page, you can see some photos. Please tell all your students how grateful we are and our music teacher is just about beside himself. We also have an assistant who is very musical - formerly from Clemson -- and she is pretty darned excited, too! We have plans to eventually get a keyboard as well, and add some traditional drums. Hallelujah!
Rwamagana Lutheran School - Rwanda School Project, Rwamagana, Rwanda.