This week it was announced that the $10,000  Band Aid Program Grant from Musicounts has been approved to provide instruments for the proposed string ensemble program at Pikangikum First Nation.  This is a competitive process available to all schools across Canada so it is a really exciting development!
Jim & Marjorie Dawson, along with financial contributions from RCNS, have been working with Pikangikum First Nations on developing the school music program for about 8 years. Last fall they worked with music teacher Morris George-Ellington on an application to the Band Aid program which supports at risk youth music programs.  
The music program is important to the school and community. One student who, due to his circumstances, was unable to attend full time school but became a very proficient guitar player by participating in the after school music programs. Another student became very fascinated with the violin and requested her father to purchase one- this shows a high level of interest and commitment.
The after-school programs allow students to be able to practice where there is no opportunity to practice at home. The additional instruments will allow more students to participate in the after school and school programs.
Now that the program has been approved, the school will now move into the implementation phase and work with vendors to complete the grant conditions.
While this program is not using Rotary funding it shows the long term benefits of working together with the community and building relationships.