Youths from the Chumash Learning Center recently held a gift-wrapping fundraiser at the Santa Ynez Tribal Hall to benefit the Lompoc-based Certain Sparks Music Foundation.
The young people raised $500, and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians provided a dollar-for-dollar matching grant to create a $1,000 donation to the nonprofit organization.
With assistance from parents, the youths wrapped holiday gifts and encouraged donations to the organization that has taught them how to play musical instruments over the past year.
Education Director Niki Sandoval said the Certain Sparks Music Foundation has provided “hands-on music and character education” to more than 35 Chumash students with ongoing lessons.
“Our youth at the Learning Center have enjoyed exploring and playing different forms of music,” Sandoval said.
Mic Singh, director of youth music programs for Certain Sparks, has taught the Learning Center students the basics of guitar, drums and ukulele while promoting the values of acceptance, courtesy and respect, Sandoval said.
“It’s been a pleasure to come to the Learning Center to help the kids learn music,” Singh said. “The Certain Sparks Music Foundation is dedicated to bringing music into the lives of all children.
“This donation will help pay for music lessons for kids who can’t afford them and will also help with developing other music programs to better serve the community,” he added.
Sandoval said she has seen marked improvement in student behavior as a result of the music lessons.
“I have witnessed the power of music education to bring hope,” she said. “One student who has struggled with attention, focus and behavioral challenges now practices positive social and scholarly skills.
“(Singh) sees the potential in each student, modeling dignity and self-respect,” Sandoval continued. “This student has responded by demonstrating kindness, diligence and care for others.”
In past years, children from the Chumash Learning Center have raised funds for Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People, Care4Paws and Love on a Leash.
“Our goal is to foster a culture of service and giving,” Sandoval said.
For more information on the Certain Sparks Music Foundation, visit www.csmusicfoundation.org.
For more information about the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation and its giving programs, visit www.santaynezchumash.org.
Article Source: Santa Ynez Valley News