Sparks’ objective is to provide in-school group music therapy for children impacted by traumas like parental incarceration and homelessness within Austin Title 1 schools. Our key focus is on social-emotional learning for at-risk youth with the specific goals and interventions tailored to the needs of the students making up each unique music therapy group. The classes are led by Board Certified Music Therapists who are educated in trauma and are trained in the specialized use of music interventions to reach non-musical goals.
With schools out indefinitely due to COVID-19 we have been unable to offer our impactful services for our students. Many are children who live in unhealthy family situations due to the key areas mentioned above. School time and our classes are often a safe haven for these students and now they have no one to turn to, whether school counselors or Music Therapistsprovided by Sparks. Just last month we had to raise the red flag for one of our therapy kids as he let his music therapist know he was afraid his dad would do to him what he had witnessed him do to his mom. So scary! And who is there to watch out for these children?
Our Executive Director has been working with school counselors and our Music Therapists over the past weeks and learned that our school counselors have been maintaining contact with our kids and their families via phone, email, and zoom. This kicked off a great idea “Can Sparks MTs write up some encouraging messages or perhaps facetime a song that can be delivered by the counselors to their kids?”
To our delight, the answer was a resounding “Yes!” In communicating that news to our MTs, one of our very creative therapists asked to go even further and produce some fun, yet therapeutic, sessions that the whole family could enjoy and participate in. Well, within just a couple emails, that exploded into a weekly project that can be presented in a couple or more different ways and formats including Spanish captioning available for our non English speaking students. The best part is that theses sessions will be made available to the entire district, not only current Sparks students!
*Please check out the video attached to see part of the available content.*
Although we know this is an amazing opportunity to help our students and their families in this time of need. Due to these unbudgeted expenses, Sparks is currently unable to fully fund this project for what is needed to produce and distribute the learning content weekly.
We know a lot of people are hurting and in need of help at this time. Our ask is that you please consider making a contribution towards this impactful project as well as sharing what we're trying to accomplish with your family, friends, and network.
-Sparks for Success!