The next two weekends will be busy for school staff and volunteers, or ‘Dream-keepers’ as they call themselves, a tribute to the school’s namesake poet, as they work to raise money for the school.“The funds will support the music program and end-of-the-year trips,” said Rebekah Cain, director of development and communications for FirstLine Schools, the organization which oversees the school.
In 2011 the school pulled in about $19,000 and in 2012 they more than doubled that figure to just over $45,000. This year, they’ve set their sights a little higher at $50,000.
“$50,000 is pretty significant,” Cain said, “It’s a big piece of why we can do end of the year trips for students and why students can march in parades.”
Martin said the end result is all about “firsts” for his students. For some, he said, the funds will mean the first time they travel by plane and for others it will mean the first time they are able to hold a brass instrument.
Cain said the school takes eighth-grade students on a trip at the end of the school year to a major U.S. city where they have the opportunity to visit a college. This year, students will travel to Washington D.C.
Mark Martin, school director, said about 40 of his 56 eighth-grade students will have the opportunity. He said it is an opportunity they work toward all school year.In addition to funding trips the donations help keep the music program up and running. Cain said the expenses of maintaining instruments, participating in parades, and purchasing other music supplies add up quick and Jazz Fest fundraising helps offset those costs.
On Friday (April 26), with students and staff in school, volunteers from the Desaix Area Neighborhood Association will help park cars. The school splits proceeds with DANA that day. Other than that, all proceeds will go toward the music program and end-of-the-year trips Cain said.
Students do not have school May 2 and 3, though staff will be on site for professional development Cain said.The school offers parking each day of the festival beginning at 9:30 a.m. Parking is $25 per day, except the first Friday, when it is $20. Cain said parking is “gated and secure” at the site: 3519 Trafalgar Street.