Kyle Bieda’s opus: Instruments for every student


Ten kids were signed up for band class on Kyle Bieda’s first day as director of instrumental music at Harshman Magnet Middle School.

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The Harshman band performing

Now, three years later, more than 150 students are participating. Better yet, the 2012-2013 school year marks the first time that each student is equipped with his or her own instrument.

“It’s all about creating a positive learning place for kids,” Kyle says. “We’re having fun while we’re learning, and more kids want to be in band now.”

Kyle says the key to attracting more students is having adequate resources, such as instruments for every student.

That’s where the IPS Education Foundation comes in, through DonorsChoose.org, we provide matching funds to IPS classrooms that allow teachers to raise money online for classroom projects.

“The Foundation’s DonorsChoose.org program is the only reason I’m able to do my job well,” Kyle says.

The Foundation matches the first $700 raised by IPS teachers on DonorChoose.org, doubling the money that is funneled directly into IPS classrooms like Kyle’s.

“There is no more timely or efficient way to get resources into my classroom,” Kyle says.

To date, Kyle has used our DonorsChoose.org initiative to successfully fund numerous band-related projects—too many to count, in fact.

In an ambitious two-week period in 2012, Kyle completed six projects through DonorsChoose.org, which gave his students drumsticks, polo shirts, instrument and equipment bags, funding for instrument repairs, and the resources necessary to host an anti-bullying campaign in the school.

“Without Foundation grants, we wouldn’t have half the supplies we do,” says Kyle, who receives no other budget for band initiatives. “Now I can be a band director, not a fund raiser.”