Hayward Elementary Teacher to Purchase Ukuleles for 300 Students

Alysa Hershman and Reid Johnson

Alysa Hershman, music teacher at Hayward Elementary, received a Public School Proud Grant for $1,822.75 to purchase ukuleles. More than 300 third, fourth, and fifth graders will use the instruments. In her grant application, Hershman noted that ukuleles will give her students the ability to create their own music and play along with various styles and songs from different cultures. Students will perform the music they composed for the class, and they will work collaboratively on group projects.

The instruments will enhance the curriculum in various ways. Third graders will relate ukuleles to instrument families and practice steady beat and rhythms. Fourth graders will learn tempos, dynamics, and syncopation. Fifth graders will build on all of those skills and incorporate the ukuleles with different styles of music.

The instruments will also be a new addition to the school’s concerts. The Education Foundation has awarded numerous Public School Proud music grants. With funding from our organization, educators have purchased the state’s first percussion mallet stations, and they are in use at Memorial Middle School, Patrick Henry Middle School, and Whittier Middle School. A middle school teacher started the district’s first electric string orchestra. We have previously awarded Public School Proud Grants to purchase ukuleles at the elementary level.  The Education Foundation has also provided funding to secure specialized instruments for students with limited mobility.

Alysa Hershman and Shannon Steffke
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