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Sullivan Project: Fall 2016

Restoring musical instruments to help Sullivan restore its Marching Band.

“As the 2016-17 school season started, Sullivan High School had no marching band. In fact, a band and many of its opportunities for students to develop musical skills had long been cut - a target of budget cuts.

Second year music teacher Andrew McGuire, who only a year ago, had created Sullivan’s first rock and roll band, learned that many musical instruments had been sitting in the School’s basement for many years, largely abandoned, and slowly deteriorating - many instruments decades old.

Realizing that he could address student demand for a marching band by restoring these instruments, McGuire approached the Rogers Park Builders Group with a request - could they cover the $5000 cost to have a local (Evanston) music store clean and repair these instruments.

The RPBG canvassed its Directors, and received unanimous approval to proceed with the gift.

Within a month, McGuire was able to place quality instruments into the hands of eager students, and a month or so after that, at its last game of the season, the Sullivan High School football team, which, two years ago was winless in eight games, was supported by a school band, sitting in the stands, playing music in support of the team - which, by the way, won its last game and the conference title - an 8-0 season!

McGuire’s goal - which is unprecedented: to have a marching band that is representative of three distinct Sullivan communities: the mainstream students; ESL learners, and students from Sullivan’s Low Incidence program.

This video tells the more about the RPBG’s effort in support of its local high school, which is experiencing a tremendous turn around, academically, and in school spirit.

This is the third project in the past two years that the Rogers Park Builders Group has done on behalf of Sullivan High School. Previously, the RPBG repurposed a classroom on behalf of the Low Incidence students into a life skills classroom, complete with a Murphy Bed, a full kitchen and a washer dryer. (link to video.)

In the Spring of 2016, the RPBG made a major contribution towards another community effort, which raised $10,000 to help Sullivan’s football team replace its shoulder pads and purchase other needed equipment.

Of course, this Fall the team responded in kind - delivering for its students a perfect 8-0 season!"

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