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Strumming Success: The Impact of a Ukulele Club Grant at Ralya Elementary

Music has a magical way of bringing student together, fostering creativity, and nurturing a sense of community. At Ralya Elementary, this magic was amplified when a 2023 grant paved the way for purchasing instruments for every student who wanted to join the newly established ukulele club. With the generous support of the Foundation for Haslett Schools, Ralya Elementary was able to purchase enough ukuleles so that every club member had their own, igniting a wave of musical enthusiasm among its students.

The idea was simple yet powerful: introduce students to the joy of playing an instrument that is both accessible and versatile. The ukulele, with its compact size and gentle strings, proved to be the perfect choice. Under the guidance of Ralya's music teacher Mallory Voris, the Ukulele Club at Ralya Elementary quickly became a hub of creativity and collaboration. Gabe, who learned melodies by picking on the ukulele, was excited to play the instrument. "I like how the ukulele sounds," he said when joining the club.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the grant's success was its inclusivity. Students of all skills were welcomed into the club, fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance. Whether they were beginners or seasoned musicians, each member found a place where they could express themselves freely through music."Ukulele club is really fun and interactive. You can go on your own path," said Estelle. Another musician, Lauren, shared that she loved the the club gave students the opportunity to learn music while fostering friendships: "Ukulele Club was an opportunity for some kids. It's really fun to be with your friends learning new things."

The impact of the ukulele club extended far beyond the walls of the school. Every year, the students hold a mini-concert to celebrate the end of the club meetings and showcase their talent and dedication.

But perhaps the most significant impact is the positive effect on the students themselves. Through learning to play the ukulele, they gain valuable skills such as patience, perseverance, and teamwork. They discover the joy of creativity and self-expression, building confidence and self-esteem along the way.

Ukulele club has become a tradition here at Ralya. -3rd graders are already asking when they can join!- It is so wonderful to have as many students join as possible. Each year we have had around 40 fifth graders involved at its highest. Students work on singing, songwriting, composing and performing. Thank you for helping make all of this possible through your continued support of our students' music education!

~~Mallory Voris, Ralya music teacher

For many students, the ukulele club is more than just a musical activity—it is a second home, a place where they can find solace, support, and friendship. It is a source of inspiration, motivating them to pursue their passions and dreams both inside and outside of the classroom.

As the sounds of ukuleles continue to fill the halls of Ralya Elementary, it's clear that the grant for ukuleles has been an overwhelming success. It has not only enriched the lives of the students involved but has also created a legacy of music and camaraderie that will resonate for years to come. Thanks to the generosity of our community who support the Foundation for Haslett Schools through their donations, our organization is able to fund grants like this one, and, as a result, the students of Ralya Elementary are strumming their way to success, one chord at a time.

Giving to the Foundation is what makes grants like this possible. Join us in supporting our students on their road to success by donating using the button below!

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