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Tarpon Spring Band Booster Engagement

Tarpon Springs Leadership Conservatory for the Arts, FL
1411 Gulf Rd, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689, USA

Project Description

Tarpon Springs Band Boosters focuses on preparing students to become the best versions of themselves. Once that principle is set as the expectation, extraordinary things become possible. This principle inspires hard work, accountability, ownership, loyalty, dedication, tenacity, perseverance – all traits which serve Tarpon alumni well as they venture into life after high school. Although this program is dedicated to a high level of music education and performance, it teaches and prepares students for so much more. As successful as Tarpon Springs has been – the trophies, the accolades, the recognition – those things are nothing in comparison to the young adults this program has sent out into the world.

None of this would be possible without the booster and parent involvement to which our program benefits. Volumes could easily be dedicated to the countless hours spent by boosters and parents given. For this submission, we will discuss a broad spectrum of examples that demonstrate that the Tarpon program is not only one to be proud of, it is one to be modeled. The workforce of parents, the desire to be part of something “bigger” and to leave a legacy, becomes so strong that we have been privileged to retain booster and parent involvement long after students graduate. In the 2017-2018 school year, 16 parents/family members remained active as booster officers and assembly members despite having had graduates as far back as 2010. This does not include the countless additional family members who continued to volunteer for special events in non-board related positions.

One of Tarpon’s claim to fame is the props that accompany the students on the field. One rumor that has circulated over the years is that Tarpon, i.e. our props, are sponsored by Disney. Although this information is false, it is the highest compliment. The reality is that parents come before work, after work, on weekends, and often stay until all hours of the night to design and build the props. All materials are donated by parents or local businesses or purchased through the fundraising efforts of the students. These parents, through their efforts, allow the Tarpon vision to come to life. The translation of their efforts is seen in the pride and confidence instilled in the students as they take the field.

A less publicly-known tradition sponsored by boosters and parents is Saturday pot luck dinners. Every Saturday, from band camp until competitions begin, parents come together at the school to provide dinner for nearly 250 students, instructors, and volunteers. All leftover food is donated and delivered to the Tarpon Springs Police Department and Tarpon Springs Fire Department. The boosters and parents not only cook but set up and clean up the school facility in an efficient manner which allows the students, instructors, and volunteers to be fed and back to work in less than one hour. This is just one more example of how the parents work cohesively to make sure the needs of the students are met while subtly teaching the students the value of teamwork.

Overview of planning and execution process for this project

Tarpon’s objective is to continue to cultivate an environment that encourages current parents and family members to feel welcomed and have a desire to become involved. Likewise, Tarpon aspires to continue to provide such a positive and enriching experience that parents and alumni feel compelled to return, assist and grow the program subsequent to their child’s participation. Lastly, it is our desire for booster and parent involvement to continue to grow so the students, instructors, and directors can maintain their focus on the task at hand – pushing the students to always become better versions of themselves.

New or recurring project?

Recurring

Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?

The true measure of success and effectiveness is how positively one’s life can be impacted by an experience. The involvement of the boosters and parents have not only positively impacted the lives of the students – the boosters and parents have been positively impacted as well. It is easily seen at every rehearsal, competition, dinner, prop building session, and event. Tarpon is fortunate to have an abundance of parents willing to give of their time, talents, and resources but we are blessed beyond measure that while fulfilling such important roles, their attitudes and demeanor are exemplary and are emulated by the students.

Our support piece is a video about our booster organization produced by one of our band boosters.

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