The spirit of the holidays has sung its way into five schools in Southern California, courtesy of the "Glee" Give a Note contest.
Seventy-three schools nationwide were awarded grants to help their struggling music programs.
On Friday, the Arroyo High School in El Monte was awarded $25,000. The school plans to use the newly acquired funds to purchase new instruments for the students and to create a more secure storage space for those instruments, said assistant principal Angelita Gonzales.
"The students are a very hard working group and for them this was a labor of love; a way to get something more for the program. They are very dedicated and this just proves how these type of programs are needed in schools," Gonzales said.
Other winners in the Southern California area were awarded $10,000 and include Kenneth L. Moffett Elementary School, Culver City Middle School, Marine View Middle School and Mark Keppel High School.
Each school was required to upload a two-minute video showcasing its students, the music program and its financial need. The videos were then posted on the "Glee" Give a Note website where more than 1 million votes were accumulated in an effort to choose the finalists.
"Our motto is 'No Child Left Behind Without an Instrument,' so we aim to provide enough resources for each child to have their own instrument," said Carla Bartlett, the director of instrumental music at Mark Keppel High School.
For some schools, the money was desperately needed.
"It takes $25,000 a year to run the program and buy instruments and although we're in a low-income area, we are committed to the program," said Margarita Amador, principal at the Kenneth L. Moffett Elementary School.
After-school music programs like Culver City Middle School rely 100 percent on donations.
"We try and insure that every child can be in the program regardless of whether the parent can donate their time or funds," said Diana Kunce, creator and producer of the Culver City Middle School Theatre Arts Program.
The "Glee" Give a Note campaign was created to encourage support for the student arts programs and the teachings provided to the students. Funding for the program was taken from the sales of the "Glee" DVDs. One dollar of each DVD sold went toward the $1,000,000 given to the schools.
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First Published: Dec 19, 2011 5:58 PM PDT