Key Biscayne students help spread some Joy during this past Holiday Season.
When Dr. Joy Galliford, Executive Director of Friends of South Florida Music, began providing her Music FUNdamentals early childhood music classes to Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade students at Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Overtown she saw a problem. And she saw a solution.
The problem was many of the children were not getting a single Christmas present. So Dr. Joy approached Principal Mrs. Yolanda Ellis to determine an appropriate gift for each child so that all would be treated fairly.
Then Dr. Joy started looking for sponsors in other schools where she provided her early childhood music classes, starting with the Key Biscayne K-8 Center under the leadership of Principal Silvia Tarafa.
Dr. Joy began teaching her Music FUNdamentals program to Mrs. Carolyn Sosa’s Pre-K Class through grant funding provided by the Key Biscayne Community Foundation three years ago.
Mrs. Sosa agreed to sponsor the Pre-K and one kindergarten class at Frederick Douglass.
Dr. Joy next approached Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church School, where Director Mrs. Anne Rothe agreed to sponsor the remaining kindergarten and two first grade classes.
The sponsorship grew as parents with children participating in Dr. Joy’s South Florida Music’s music program, which holds classes at Crossbridge Church on Harbor Dr (f/k/a Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church), Central Presbyterian Church/Redeemer Church in South Miami, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Coconut Grove, and Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest were also eager to join in the gift giving and Dr. Joy established an Amazon gift list with specific gift items and quantities.
This allowed the sponsorship to extend to include Pre-K, K, 1st, 4, and 5. The last two grade levels remaining were 2 and 3.
Adrianna Fernandez, a South Florida Music parent, agreed to sponsor the boys for both 2nd and 3rd grade. And Gabriella Prieto, a 7th grader at Downtown Doral Charter Upper School, undertook sponsorship of the girls in 2nd and 3rd grades as part of her 2019-20 National Honor Society Project. This made the project 100% school wide.
Dr. Joy believes that one of the keys to the growth of the program is that the individuals and students providing the gifts are part of the team distributing them at Frederick Douglass, and on December 16 nine parents from Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church- Carmen de Prada, Montse Olivares, Simona de Geronimo, Maria Nieves Montes, Maria Rumeu, Patrícia Serena, Carolina Sette, Patrícia Ebalin, Carolina Do Valle, Isabel Cazaux de Legier- and Raine Calva and Elena Freyre, who are Key Biscayne South Florida Music parents, went with Dr. Joy to Frederick Douglass.
Dr. Joy’s husband and renowned jazz musician Bill Galliford brought his keyboard and led the group in carols as they traveled room to room distributing gifts.
“There is nothing more precious than receiving an unexpected gift of love,” said Dr. Joy. “Those who delivered the gifts were in awe of the children, overwhelmed by the hugs, and delighted in bringing our community together as we provide for our children who will be building the future for each of us.”