By Tess Malijenovsky
During these tough times in the economy, school music programs are often the first to be slashed from educational funding. For this reason the Fox TV show Glee is giving $1 million to 73 schools in the country. Riverview Charter School is the only school in Beaufort and the only charter school in South Carolina in the running for the competition, but it needs Beaufort’s support to win.
The Glee competition has been Riverview music teacher Dede Ondishko’s brain child. When she received a poster in the mail for the competition she decided, “Well gosh, let’s do it!” After winning over the support of her principal and talking her colleague, creative arts director and drama teacher Lisa Clancy into going for it, the two teachers set out to make a video under two minutes showing why Riverview deserves to win the prize.
Clancy and Ondishko gathered the 86 students from kindergarten to seventh grade who volunteered to sing songs of heroes for Beaufort’s September 11 community celebration to recreate the event for the Glee video. The video also features short interviews with students, parents, teachers and school administrators. “In recognition of them going out of their way to participate (on Sept. 11), we thought this would be a good reward and exciting for them,” Ondishko said.
Currently the teachers are toting around music equipment on carts in what Ondishko describes as a labor intensive process. Winning the prize could mean instruments, a new performing space with risers, an installed sound system with a projector and a musical library. “We have grand plans,” laughs Clancy.
The November 7 deadline is approaching, and in order for Riverview to be considered for the prize, Glee judges have to see community support by a show of votes. You can vote once a day. Just go to www.gleegiveanote.com, click vote now, search for Riverview Charter School, and submit your vote. This competition doesn’t just help a local school, but the whole community.
By Tess Malijenovsky