Expanding the Drum Line for Students with Disabilities

Music teacher Julie Braeckman of the Mercer County Special Services High School was awarded a $6,000 continuation grant from the NJEA Hipp Foundation. This continuation grant project has once again been designated as the Joyce Powell Grant for Students with Special Needs.

Homeroom teachers, and occupational therapy and physical therapy staff will identify students with the greatest interest in participating in the drum line.

Initially, the goal is for the students to learn to play together in a small group classroom setting, and then move towards playing for events such as pep rallies, Blue and White Day, students-versus-staff flag football, homecoming, and the annual softball game against the local police department. The drum line would be assessed throughout the year on its effectiveness to promote school spirit.

According to a certified state organization, learning percussion helps “children with Autism, Dyslexia, ADD, Tourettes, Asperger’s, ADHD, OCD, and ODD to develop and expand retention, coordination, self-esteem, and physical and cognitive functioning in schools and communities.”

At the end of the year, the music teacher will collaborate with administration to evaluate the benefits and interest in continuing and expanding the drum line for next year.

For Further Information, contact:

Julie Braeckman
School Phone: 609-588-8450