In the spirit of #GivingTuesday – which takes place Tuesday, December 3rd – WXPN is spotlighting the good work of various non-profits throughout the community. We have a day for giving thanks, days for giving gifts, and now we have a day for giving back! Start your giving season with a pledge to WXPN, and see some other organizations you can support for #GivingTuesday here.
From its beginnings as schoolwork help group for a dozen Philadelphia students, Rock to the Future has grown over the past few years as a full-on after-school program and summer camp that was featured in the Kids’ Corner Garden of this summer’s XPoNential Music Festival.
As The Key’s Elizabeth Mazenko reported over the summer, the aim of Rock To the Future founders Joshua and Jessica craft is to provide music education support to the under-served students of Philadelphia:
Their goals are high, but important: a 100% high school graduation rate and post-secondary program attendance rate. Most important, RTTF is based on the idea that learning music can have an overall positive effect on students’ lives, both in school and out.
“[Music education] has been proven to improve academic performance, test-taking skills, cognitive thinking, memorization, and focus,” Jess says, citing some of the research by educational nonprofit The Dana Foundation that’s shaped the program’s philosophy.
With that in mind, Jess and Josh are going farther than just giving students a place to jam after school. They track their participants’ report cards, PSSA scores, and attendance to obtain feedback on the effects of their various programs.