Tarpon Spring Band Booster Engagement
Award: Bronze, 2019
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
New or recurring project?Recurring
Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?
Our support piece is a video about our booster organization produced by one of our band boosters.