Giving Tuesday - November 29, 2016
Meet Armando Tovar, the principal of Fay Elementary School located in City Heights (San Diego). This school lacks funding to provide arts education, and 98% of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. We interviewed him to learn just what inspired him to work in a disadvantaged school and why he wants to partner with us to impact his students' lives with music.
"I am the product of public elementary school, and had a similar socioeconomic status as my students while growing up," explained Tovar. His goal as a teacher is to provide "a safe place for my students" and he strives to create an environment that is "safe and consistent". He is concerned that his students are missing out on valuable life lessons due to the lack of funding for arts education at his school.
Tovar discovered his love for music when he was exposed to the recorder in third grade, and he later went on to learn the trumpet. "Music was my outlet," said Tovar. Learning to play music became something he looked forward to each day, and he believes that music profoundly impacted his life by allowing him to develop friendships, learn discipline, practice regularly, and set goals. "If you wanted to get better, you needed to be consistent". Tovar reminisced that his father's dream was for him to one day play the trumpet like Louis Armstrong and to join a professional mariachi band.
Although Tovar chose to become an educator instead of a musician, his passion for music has inspired his dream to establish an arts program at Fay Elementary. His long-term vision is to raise enough funds to provide band, strings, art, dance and choir... but for now he wants to begin with general music education. He believes a music education program will not only give his students something to look forward to, but will benefit the overall development of their brains (as suggested by research on music's impacts on the developing child).
RMC is currently providing a free pilot music education program for his students through Music4Change™, and Tovar is dedicated to help RMC raise $20,000 to bring our complete program to his school in 2017. Supporting schools like Fay Elementary is an integral part of RMC's Music4Change™ initiative. We believe we can improve young lives within this disadvantaged population by helping them set goals and tap into the creative process... all critical thinking skills that will benefit these students no matter what paths their lives take. Will you help us redefine the giving spirit this holiday by contributing to our campaign on #GivingTuesday?