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Making beautiful music together At P.S. 219

Assemblyman Nick Perry recently visited PS 219-The Kennedy-King School and was welcomed by Principal Winsome Smith, Music Teacher Anthony N. Lucas, UFT Representative Ellen Mandleberger, and students from classes 4-404 and 3-316 in their new high-tech music classroom.

Perry witnessed firsthand the fruits of the legislative grant he sponsored for the last five years for the benefit of students at the school, 1060 Clarkson Avenue between East 93rd & East 94th streets. There, Perry was greeted by ambitious students who were engaged in a lesson via the smart board about the four music ‘family’ instrumental groups.

Perry received letters of appreciation from students Anthony Daly and Cherie Ann of class 4-404, participants of the “Literacy through Music After School Programs,” held at the school from 3:15-4:15 p.m. This program was also made possible by the legislative grant.

Led by Lucas, the Literacy Through Music Program uses music instruction as an opportunity for reading comprehension, focused listening, and memory development through the arts, targeting students in grades three to five. The program also takes advantage of children’s capacity for multi-channel learning to increase the rate at which children develop comprehension skills.

As a result of the grant, PS 219 has a thriving music program, which consists of two full time instructors, including Lucas, two music labs consisting of 50 music keyboards (in the main building and Annex), computer programs with music games and tutorial programs (Music Ace Program), Smart Board computer system, music centers (rhythm center, games center, instrument center, music literacy center) and a music library.

Perry was visibly moved as he listened to students play individual selections as well as collaborative musical selections of different composers on the piano.

Daly thanked Perry for funding the program. In a letter of greeting to Perry, he wrote: “Let me end on a personal note. When I first came to PS 219, I wasn’t that good at music. However, when I started taking music classes at PS 219 I began to get it, and as a result, I feel good that I am one of the highest achieving and competent students in Doctor Lucas’ class.”

Perry vowed to continue to support informed programs such as the Literacy Through Music After School Program at PS 219. He explained the role played by him in government and the process employed to secure funding for programs.

Perry also reminded the youngsters that research has shown — students who study music do extremely well in other academic subjects and encouraged them to continue to embrace the musical opportunities and experiences offered at PS 219.

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