Explorer Academy receives national recognition

Explorer Academy has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The NAMM Foundation
Posted on 04/03/2019
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The following was originally released by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM Foundation)

Huntington, WV – April 1, 2019 Huntington’s Explorer Academy has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. 

The SupportMusic Merit Award recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the Support Music Merit Award, Explorer Academy answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music-making programs, Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“High quality music education is important to enriching the lives of our students and has been shown to improve academic performance as well,” said Principal Ryan McKenzie. “Our music staff, Ashley Gilbert and Brenda Martin, have worked very hard to create original musicals for each grade level as well as provide unique daily classroom learning experiences for our children and we are thrilled they have earned this well-deserved recognition.”

This award recognizes that Explorer Academy is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides policy implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing-while leaving behind subjects such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children. 

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. After two years of music education, research found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores that their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college as well. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children that in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound; young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

A 2015 study supported by The NAMM Foundation, “Striking A Chord,” also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school curriculum.

Explorer Academy is a Cabell County Schools PK-5 public school. We are the first school in WV to follow the EL Education model and still the only fully-implementing, network school. We are the result of an ongoing collaboration between Cabell County Schools, the Marshall University June Harless Center for Rural Education Research and Development, and EL Education. At the end of our third year our fifth grade students now exceed district and state averages in ELA, Math, and Science. Our students learn how to be scholars and ethical people as well as how to produce high quality work.

About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.

 

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