BYRON – More than 25 Byron Middle School students came together at the beginning of the current school year to form a ukulele club.
Thanks to the generosity of the Byron Foundation, the club was able to purchase 12 ukuleles that could be loaned to students who did not own one of their own. This nearly doubled the number of original members. The club was able to loan out the 12 ukuleles the first day they received them.
The club consists of students with varying degrees of ukulele and musical experience. The group’s first performance was at an all-school assembly the day before winter break. The group played a series of yuletide songs for the entire student body. Byron Middle School staff members even attend the meetings from time to time.
The group is currently led by Mr. Baker, who picked up playing the ukulele two years ago. It is his hope that the club will allow any student interested the chance to learn to play a musical instrument and to learn something that he or she may enjoy doing for the rest of their lives. The club generally meets once a week for an hour and is currently working on individual and small group songs to perform in the near future.
The Byron Foundation, 501c3 non-profit, established in 1993, is an independent organization, founded to provide the Byron School educators access and opportunity to impact learning that empowers students and provides an enriched education beyond the district tax dollars. This volunteer team of parents, educators, and community members are committed to supporting children with unique experiences to help broaden their education, expose them to enriched opportunities and to cultivate leaders. We are a cohesive group of people with a mix of background and talent, with a shared vision.
The Board of Directors meets every 4-6 weeks, hosts two annual fund-raisers, accepts and processes grants that average $5,000 a year, and manages scholarship funds for other individuals and organizations. Over the past 24 years, more thanb 40 community members have served as board members, raising funds and granting over $104,000 to the Byron School staff for use in their classrooms.
We recognize and celebrate the history and value of the Foundation’s work. The focus on long-term planning and sustainability has led to a recent partnership with Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and the creation of a new Byron Foundation Endowment Fund. The Byron Foundation Endowment Fund establishes a financial reserve, provides a reliable source of income in perpetuity, and shows the solidity and permanence of The Byron Foundation in our community and our commitment to continued educational excellence in the Byron School District.
If you are inspired to give of your time and talents or a tax-deductible gift to the Byron Foundation Endowment Fund, please contact Byron Foundation President, Michelle Albert: Malbert6@comcast.net or 815-985-5102.