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Believe You Can Achieve

Edison Middle School, IL

306 W Green St, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
Champaign Unit 4
Director: Kimberly Branch
Category: Recruitment Material (Print)
Award: Gold, 2020

Project Description

The purpose of this project is to educate and engage the community explaining the value of music education for their children as well as showcase the Edison Middle School Band and Patron Program.

Target Audience

The Champaign, IL community at large. Champaign is located 135 miles south of Chicago Illinois. It is home to about 81,000 residents. According to the United States Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, the racial makeup of Champaign is 67.8% White, 15.62% African-American, 0.3% Native American, 10.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.7% from other races, and 3% from two or more races.

Overview of planning and execution process for this project

We started in the Summer (August 6th-10th, 2018) with our first free summer band camp dedicated to spreading art awareness and community engagement. Evening events were scheduled in an effort to create lasting friendships within the band program as well as retention. Some of these events included a water-balloon fight, music advocacy poster contest, and an ice cream social. We concluded the camp with an evening concert for the students’ families.

We then had a Veteran’s Day concert to honor all Veteran’s in our community by performing classic Military Marches such as the Washington Post March.

Our Winter concert series took place, Dec. 4th and Dec. 13th, 2018. These concerts were for the community to enjoy and featured our jazz ensembles and concert bands. In March, we invited Mr. Christopher Johnson to speak with students regarding his experience touring with Beyonce Knowles and other famous musicians/ entertainers. This event was open to the entire Edison student population. Through his presentation, he explained to students how music education played a huge role in becoming a musician and he was featured in our local newspaper.
In April, we toured four different Elementary schools providing students with opportunities to ask questions about the band program and to understand the benefits of being a part of a performing Ensemble.

In addition to the Elementary school tours, we performed at the schools’ 5th grade open house, showcasing our recruitment flyers, concert programs, and jazz combo.

We concluded our year with our yearly “Day in the Park” performance aimed for community engagement.

Community Impact

This program has helped to unite our community and to help further music education within the area. Students are now able to join a curricular choir class at Edison starting this school year. In November 2016, the Champaign community voted on a 300 million dollar referendum project that would update area school buildings and add a desperately need larger band room at one of the high school buildings. On March 11, 2019, Unit 4 unanimously voted to add $10,098,090 to Edison’s 15 million that will help create a band room as well as an orchestra room at Edison Middle School in 2021.

Overall budget


Specific Budget Breakdown

  • Summer Camp: $120 (Folders, sheet protectors, markers, label maker)
  • $25 (water-balloons)
  • Winter Concert Series: $760 (concert programs)
  • Guest Artist/ Clinician: $360 (posters)
  • Elementary school Recruitment Materials: $185 (Trifold Brochure)

What was your total program enrollment during the prior school year?


What is your projected program enrollment for the current school year?


New or recurring project?


How did you update/change this project from its previous occurrence?

This is our first year implementing a summer camp and we have updated our brochures and programs from previous years. We were able to get our programs and brochure professionally designed by my brother, who volunteered his time.

Challenges/obstacles that were encountered

With our summer camp, we faced many challenges due to facility constraints and availability. The cafeteria was not available so we had to make arrangements with teachers to eat in classrooms. We also did not have a bus available so we walked to the nearest park with parent volunteers. Through our band patrons, we were able to cover the cost of programs and other marketing/recruitment materials as well as supply much needed man power for supervision.

Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?

I first began teaching at Edison in 2015. The number of students enrolled in band has increased every year since. We started with 120 students in band and we increased to 150 the following year. Then we have remained consistently at 160 with this year being 165. Next year we predict we will have around 180 students in band. Parents and students have written to my administrators and to me regarding their appreciation for the efforts in band and the hard work demonstrated by students and faculty.

Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?

Be persistent. People love to stay in their routine because it is familiar and comfortable. However, if there is a vision that you have that resonates within to inspire and help the world, do not let it die. You never know how much your actions can affect someone else which can lead to positive change. You can be the start of a ripple effect.

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