Drum Roll, Please

The quest to save a music program, one click at a time

COOL TOOLS | by Alaethea Hensley

CahoonDrummersBeing a part of the Cougar Drum Line is one of those activities that every Cahoon Elementary student looks forward to as soon as they enter the 4th grade. That’s why some teachers at this Tampa-based Magnet School are turning to their community and networks to help them keep this drum line drumming.

“We have all experienced something that makes you come to life,” says Jessica Hildenbrand, Lead teacher at Cahoon Elementary. “And for many of our Cahoon Cougars, the drum line is it.”

Each year, the school has to rely on local donations to rent the drums, not knowing if they will have enough to keep the program around that year. Unfortunately, this is a story all too familiar for most schools. As budgets continue to tighten, programs such as music and art are usually not at the top of the list for funding so buying drums for the music program is simply not an option.

However, Hildenbrand and her colleagues are turning to technology and social networks to raise that money. They started a campaign on Edbacker, a crowdfunding platform for educators, to help spread the word as loud and as far as they can. Crowdfunding is the idea of raising money by collecting smaller contributions from a large pool of people (the crowd). Each day, they spend time sharing with their friends, families, and really anyone who will listen about this campaign and just how far even a $1 donation can go.

Budget cuts are a reality for public schools and they will have to make crucial decisions to either cut programs or find a new way to raise that money. In a growing trend, more and more educators are turning from traditional ways of thinking and instead looking to technology to help aid some of those problems.

“We want to make sure this program is around for a long time,” says Hildenbrand. “We saw Edbacker as a way to make that happen.”

The “Drum Roll for the Drum Line” campaign has 40 days left to go. To share their story or contribute to their campaign, you can click here.


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