ELYRIA, Ohio, April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The NAMM Foundation has selected Open Door Christian Schools (ODCS) again as one of the "Best Communities for Music Education" in the United States. The selection acknowledges ODCS' commitment to and support of music education in its programs. Under the musical direction of Mr. Chris Clark and Mrs. Laura Watkins, ODCS has received this honor three times in recent years (2004, 2010 and 2012).
"The program Mr. Clark has built is nothing short of phenomenal. In his 20 years with our school, the legacy he has created has impacted and blessed hundreds of lives. We desire for our students to receive a complete education, and training in the arts is an essential part of that. But for our students to experience this music program is an incredible opportunity that they are unlikely to find anywhere else," said Jonathan Burton, ODCS President.
The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing active participation in music across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.
"Music is essential to opening doors of creativity. By introducing music to students, we are helping them unlock the potential for greatness in other areas in their lives," commented Clark. "Music is a great equalizer for many students. A student can excel in concert band, marching band, or choir while not necessarily being gifted in sports or academics. What a life long gift to give a child."
Amid a dramatic backdrop of school budget cuts, the NAMM Foundation today announced the results of its 13th annual "Best Communities for Music Education" survey. Thousands of schools begin the process to be considered but only 176 school districts were named by the NAMM Foundation.
The 2012 designation as a Best Community for Music Education comes at a precarious moment, as school districts nationwide are voting on their budgets. According to the NAMM Foundation, this "Best Communities" designation represents not only a distinction worthy of pride, but a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve – and in some cases, save – their current music education programs. The complete list of "Best Communities" can be viewed online at www.nammfoundation.org.
Each school receiving the "Best Communities" designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey's grading process. Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and other relevant factors in their communities' music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials, and advisory organizations reviewed the data.
Throughout the survey's 13 years, many districts have reported that making the "Best Communities" list has had a positive effect on their ability to preserve music for their students amid budget cuts in arts programs.
In conducting the annual survey, the NAMM Foundation is joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education, including Americans for the Arts (www.americansforthearts.org), League of American Orchestras (www.americanorchestras.org), The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation (www.mhopus.org), The Metropolitan Opera Guild (www.operaed.org), Music for All (www.musicforall.org), Music Teachers National Association (www.mtna.org), National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts (www.nationalguild.org), National PTA (www.pta.org), Yamaha Corporation of America (www.yamaha.com) and VH1 Save The Music Foundation (www.vh1savethemusic.com). The survey was developed and administered by The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, KS, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.
Open Door Christian Schools (ODCS), founded in 1976, is a premier co-educational, college preparatory school serving Christian families in Northern Ohio. With an enrollment of over 500 students from preschool through high school, ODCS is the largest Christian school in the region, drawing students from 120 different churches of various denominations. ODCS is the only preschool-grade 12 school system within 60 miles of Elyria to receive accreditation by the Association of Christian Schools International. Its mission, in partnership with the family and local church, is the salvation, the discipleship, and the education for life and service of the students entrusted to its care. This mission is carried out in a Christian environment that is focused on challenging the mind, strengthening the body, and guiding the soul.
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