WAKEFIELD – This week, 15 Massachusetts school districts are being recognized by The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation as Best Communities for Music Education (BCME). In cooperation with researchers at The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, NAMM each year selects school districts that deserve recognition as being among the Best Communities for Music Education and individual schools that are honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award (SMMA).

The NAMM Foundation designated 583 of the nation’s 13,600 school districts this year as Best Communities for Music Education and 135 individual schools as recipients of a SupportMusic Merit Award.

In Massachusetts, in addition to districts receiving Best Communities for Music Education recognition, Conservatory Lab Charter School in Dorchester and Spofford Pond Elementary School in Boxford also received the SupportMusic Merit Award, which recognizes exemplary music education programs in individual schools.

The Massachusetts school districts being awarded the 2018 BCME designation are:

Agawam Public Schools, Belmont Public Schools, Billerica Public Schools, Chelmsford Public Schools, Everett Public Schools, Marblehead Public Schools, North Andover Public Schools, Pembroke Public Schools, Randolph Public Schools, Southern Berkshire Regional School District, Wakefield Public Schools, Wayland Public Schools, Westborough Public Schools, Westford Public Schools, and Weston Public Schools.

Now in its 19th year, the awards program recognizes the outstanding efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum. Designations are given to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and consistent access to music education.

This year, The NAMM Foundation and the University of Kansas are recognizing school districts in 41 states, along with individual schools in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Those honored include both schools and districts that have never been recognized before, as well those that have received recognition multiple years in a row.

From coast to coast, schools recognized by The NAMM Foundation are engaging students and their communities through music. Whether these are students having a chance to perform with community choral, symphony and theatre ensembles in Abingdon, Pennsylvania; reduced or low-cost private music lessons for needy students in Ann Arbor, Michigan; or English language learners in Grand Forks, North Dakota building new language usage skills through music education, schools and districts are creating a community of learners and showing what the have learned to the broader community.

A list of the 135 schools that received Support Music Merit Awards can be found at: https://www.nammfoundation.org/articles/2018schools

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