Introducing Our New Preludes Sites!

With the start of the new school year, CYSO is thrilled to welcome three new schools to our Preludes program: South Loop Elementary, Polaris Charter Academy in West Humboldt Park, and Dewey Elementary Academy of Fine Arts in Englewood. Part of our Community Engagement Programs, CYSO partners with Preludes schools throughout the year to offer concerts, field trips, and coaching opportunities to CPS elementary band and orchestra students, all free of charge. The CYSO Preludes program works to build long-term partnerships with schools by supporting teachers, serving students, and connecting with the community. It’s our way of building authentic connections with our neighborhood music programs.

We know that music education is inequitably distributed and not all young people have access to resources like instruments or music lessons in their schools or neighborhoods. Across the city of Chicago, 1 in 3 Chicago Public School students don’t have consistent access to high-quality arts education. The vast majority of students don’t have daily instrumental music instruction, and these disparities especially affect Black and Latinx communities.

I’m excited to learn new techniques to better reach students to help make them more successful. It will be nice to have a partnership to see and hear new ideas.

Mandolyn Barrymore, Polaris Charter Academy

The free year-long Preludes partnership helps both CYSO and the school get to know each other and gauge compatibility for a long-term partnership. “We’re looking for shared pedagogical values and educational goals,” says Community Engagement Manager Karen Mari, “and our Preludes schools are also getting to know CYSO. If we work well together and students benefit, we hope schools will become multi-year partners in the CYSO @ CPS program.” The program provides multiple points of contact for the students and allows CYSO to develop deeper and more sustainable partnerships with schools.

A scene from one of CYSO’s Community Engagement sites at Gallistel Language Academy on the city’s far south side

We look forward to getting to know the young musicians and staff of South Loop, Polaris, and Dewey schools throughout the 22-23 school year!

Are you a school staff member interested in finding out more about partnering with CYSO? Reach out to Karen Mari to learn more!

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