Happy #GivingTuesday, Friends!
We hope you’ve had a gratitude-filled Thanksgiving, survived or ignored Black Friday, and are gearing up for Tuesday’s amazing window of opportunity to make a 200% charitable impact by donating to GITC on Facebook! Thanks for checking in with us about ways to make a big difference for kids. The need for our programs is growing quickly and your help is requested to make musical learning in classrooms possible this school year!
On Facebook, a 100% Match Means 200% Good!
If our mission warms your heart, please give and your tax deductible gift will be matched dollar for dollar through our fundraising campaign HERE!
Our main Facebook page can be found HERE.
The Way It Works
If you donate on Facebook, Facebook and PayPal will team up to:
How To Earn a 100% Match!
If you wish to see your dollars go up and total 200%, please give first thing in the morning on Tuesday, November 27th! Then you will be sure to get the match. Giving later could work fine, too, but we don't know. You’ll want to watch to see what amount of funds are still available for matches as the hours go by. Our tip- mark your calendar and set your alarm for 6 a.m. Pacific, 7 a.m. Mountain, 8 a.m. Central or 9 a.m. Eastern. Then click and make public schools a better place to learn and grow!
You Deserve Thanks So Please Send Your Address!
If you donate on Facebook, we will be able to see your gift come in, but we will need your snail mail address in order to send you an official GITC thank you letter and gift. Since Facebook doesn’t collect or give that to us, could you possibly help us find you?
When you donate through the campaign, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will get a GITC goodie in the mail.
Want to Donate on Tuesday but Not Through Facebook?
Want to Contribute but Not in the Morning?
No Problem! Visit Us at GlobalGiving!
If you prefer to drink your coffee slowly, meditate, do some yoga or go for a run and then give....or your morning meetings and duties prohibit getting online so early, then this option is perfect for you! Please visit GlobalGiving.org and donate to GITC projects there anytime Tuesday!
3 GlobalGiving.org Projects From Which to Choose
Our special campaigns at GlobalGiving are also providing donors with a match on any gift given to one of our 3 active campaigns on #GivingTuesday. You can channel your giving to your favorite project. Here they are:
Is There a Best Time To Get a Match on GlobalGiving?
Donating anytime on #GivingTuesday will get you a match. This platform is making it easy to donate without the risk of matching funds running out all day. You can contribute there from 6 a.m.until midnight EST to qualify.
How Much Will Be Matched?
Globalgiving is giving away $150,000 in matching funds over the course of the whole day/night proportionally. We will learn the amount of the match on Wednesday. The amount will be based upon how many donors give - and how much they give- to each charity. Though it will most likely be well under 50%, it totally helps us get music out there and we appreciate every extra dollar you give and that they increase!
Thank you Friends for taking the time to make this crucial difference for students. They need us and so do the teachers. If we stand up for music in education and make our love felt through supplying teacher training, musical instruments, instruments, supplies, educational materials and more, the students will benefit at every level- physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. You can help them become passionate learners by making music a positive part of every day, and give their teachers the tools and support that make teaching the inspired endeavor that brought them to education in the first place. Let's do this!
Desiree Cera is one of GITC’s new Teaching Angels. She is both a Behavioral Interventionist in the STARS Program for San Diego Unified, and a GITC Faculty Trainer for teachers from San Diego who meet after school at Wegeforth Elementary in Serra Mesa. Desiree’s heart has always been in serving people, especially children.
Desiree began her career in education assisting kids with emotional disturbance and was soon noticed for her quality of character and her skill set. She was then recruited as an itinerant behavioral interventionist by the San Diego School District’s Behavioral Support Department. Her job consisted of moving from school to school to support the teachers. In the process, Desiree learned different teaching styles and modalities. She gained an in-depth understanding of effective teaching strategies and classroom management to make learning accessible to all children including those who are severely affected by Autism and a wide range of other conditions.
When the Department reorganized again, they reassigned Desiree to the STARS Program: Successful Transitions Achieved through Responsive Support. STARS is an alternative special education program in specialized settings and is located on five different campuses in our home district. STARS students are considered challenged but college-bound. From her cumulative experiences, Desiree was well-equipped to bridge the gap between classroom instruction and the needs of these high functioning but highly sensitive and potentially volatile students. She can quickly identify and analyse their needs and create a plan to meet those needs within the scope of the available resources.
As is true for most special educators working with moderate to severely affected students, Desiree’s job has long been difficult and physically dangerous, but she has never given up. Like her SpEd colleagues, she serves as the buffer between students in crisis and those around them, containing, redirecting, calming, channeling and modulating student behavior in ways to keep students safe. This is courageous work.
Throughout her journey, music has been an important part of Desiree’s personal life. “Music has carried me through the weight of the emotional stressers of my job. After work I sometimes feel drained and empty. That’s when I pick up my guitar and sing. I literally strum my way back to energy. Then I am able to return to work refreshed.”
The inclusion of GITC ukulele has been life-changing for Desiree. It gives her context, daily, to express who she is more fully as she teaches members of the faculty and also implements the tools she has learned in her work with students. Desiree shared with us how GITC has allowed her to deeply integrate her personal creativity and musical life more into her work as an educator. The organization supports her to make meaningful connections between music and meeting the needs of both children and colleagues. She explained, “Everything I do now is under one umbrella - the business side, the creative side and the nurturing side.”
She finds the work of training other teachers after school exceptionally rewarding. "It's humbling and inspiring to support these amazing educators to cultivate their own musicality and bring it into their classrooms. As they begin to make connections between singing, playing ukulele and guitar, writing lyrics, and working meaningfully with their students, I feel immensely excited to share their discoveries and to guide them on this journey."
Desiree believes strongly that Guitars and Ukes in the Classroom offers a succinct solution to meet the needs of children. “GITC is simple, adaptable, and supports teachers and students.” She carries her ukulele everywhere on campus and feels equipped to respond to emerging situations through music as they occur. As a result, she is seeing daily miracles that illustrate just how profoundly and immediately music can address every need within a dynamic student body such as the one at Wegeforth.
Over the span of just two and a half days in the past week, she has seen music make a crucial difference in a crisis intervention, a literacy lesson, and as a de-escalation strategy for aggressive behavior. In one instance, Desiree had shared singing and strumming ukulele with a socially isolated child. This girl discovered that she felt so passionate about playing and singing that she actually initiated social contact through music with a younger student who she found alone in tears. Bending down to be with this little one, she made up a song on the spot to soothe her - a first and very remarkable act of creative compassion for this student. Music became her bridge to others.
On another day, Desiree inserted ukulele and songwriting into her work with one of her students, George. In a group, George and some other students rewrote Woody Guthrie’s classic love song to America, “This Land is Your Land” into “This Class is Our Class.” George, who is working on communication and social skills, was suddenly uncorked! Through the compelling melody and rhythm, he found himself a capable and confident lyricist. This breakthrough gave his self esteem and verbal skills a tremendous boost. Here he is conversing with her about his experience. We share this video with permission from his family.
Desiree brings so many great gifts to the work we are doing here at Guitars and Ukes in the Classroom. She leads with her heart and follows with her incredible mind. She teaches both children and educators how to sing down obstacles and strum up bridges with music and hope, friendship and learning. She leads us all across- special learners, teachers, faculty and community members, too. Desiree Cera is inspired and she is an inspiration to all who meet her. We welcome her wholeheartedly to our ever-expanding musical family and look forward to a long and fulfilling relationship!
Written by Gail Wingfield