CARE Grant Restores High Fidelity to Amador Elementary MPR

Michael Utsumi, Funding & Programs Coordinator
January 7, 2020

“Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.” Plato – Greek philosopher. 427 BC – 347 BC.

Just over a year ago, the DPIE Board approved a landmark grant program that was designed to benefit all 12 school sites within the Dublin Unified School District. The intent was to provide funding that would be spent at the discretion of site leadership and would be expended to benefit the greatest number of students. The name of the grant is the acronym for the four DPIE pillars of service: Career & College Exploration, Arts Education, Resources for Educators and Education Enrichment - CARE.  Distribution of the checks occurred in the first quarter of 2019 and each of the 12 Dublin schools received a grant in the amount of $10,000. 

For Amador Elementary School, on Thursday, December 12th 2019 the CARE Grant was realized with success at the Multicultural Variety Show. While still one of the newer schools in the district, the audio system for the multi-purpose room (MPR) has always been deficient.  The MPR was built to house the entire enrollment, plus the stage could also open up to face the black top and provide a dual utilization. However, this design feature becomes handicapped if the audio system is insufficient. 

Amador Elementary new Audio System

Amador’s leadership embraced the CARE Grant and decision was made quickly to address this issue. However, executing the plan resulted in a start/stop proposition that was complicated by several factors. Alas, with the school year ending in May, it would then become a priority item for the fourth quarter of 2019. Thursday, December 12th not only marked the Multicultural Variety show, but also the debut of the new audio system.  The A.M. session was reserved for the entire student body and the evening assembly invited all families to attend. We had an opportunity to witness/hear the event and to sit down with Principal Holly Scroggins to discuss the process and result.

While Amador Elementary is less than 10 years old, it was readily apparent that the audio system in the MPR was insufficient for the site’s needs. How did you go about identifying a superior solution?

Holly Scroggins: “We contacted our Tech department and asked them for help. They installed a system after the first two years.  The system kept having problems and the speakers never sounded good.  We contacted our Tech department again and asked for them to help us with an improvement plan.  They had several venders come and give quotes. We visited several schools and listened to their newer systems to identify one that would meet our needs. We decided on one after the generous donation from DPIE that would support our needs both inside the MPR, as well as outside for our outdoor assemblies.” 

What are the clear-cut benefits to having an improved audio system – both indoors and projecting externally to the blacktop? 

Scroggins: “We will be able to use our outdoor stage more often for events and assemblies.  We will be able to offer music at recess.  The clarity and volume of this system is amazing.  It will enhance our communication in both places.”

What was the general reaction to the new system at the Multicultural Talent Program from both students and guardians? 

Scroggins: “Everyone loves it! Our parents were thrilled by the difference in quality from last year to this year. They told me it made a measurable difference and added a professional feel to our show. We can now hear and understand the students and adults as they speak. Music is wonderful. We are a school that likes to dance, so I believe we will be enjoying music more often together.”

We want to thank Principal Holly Scroggins for chronicling this process and demonstrating the tenacity to complete this journey. To all current and future Owls, you have an MPR that both looks and now sounds great.