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Neptune Beach Elem Special Needs

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Everyone has a story. Throughout this campaign, you will hear the stories of several different families, stories of little ones who have impacted the lives of their families and others with their perseverance and unconditional love.

A glimpse into our initiative will tell you that music is a powerful connector in our lives. Those of us who have started this fundraiser are fueled by the belief that music opens a door and a way to connect to special needs children. Music strengthens our brains, our bodies, and our souls, and the more access special needs children have to the benefits of music, the more we are able to connect to these incredible little humans!

Let's start with Dante, for he really is the spark that started this protect.
In so many ways, Dante Demuth is a typical child. He is a happy 6 year old filled with joy, energy, and love. Just like all children, he is unique.
Dante was born with Down Syndrome and without an esophagus. He is non verbal and has limited vision and hearing along with significant physical and cognitive limitations, however, his languages are laughter, love, and music! Dante connects through music and through his joy and zest for life.
He is one of many students at Neptune Beach Elementary, a wonderful school with a special needs wing that consists of teachers and assistants that work tirelessly with compassion and love to teach and care for students from preschool to 5th grade that have diagnosis' that include cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, Rhett's Syndrome, seizure disorders, and many others. Dante participates in class activities and has flourished in his 3 years at NBE under the skilled wisdom of Elizabeth Otterbein, who started the nationally certified MOVE program which teaches children to walk and move their bodies!

Dante has thrived and seems to grow tremendously from year to year at NBE. Recently, Dante received Kindermusik lessons at home with Dinah Frilling, a talented singer and Kindermusik educator with a strong desire to bring music to children with disabilities.
In just a few months, Dante's world has opened up! Instead of playing with mostly battery operated toys, he brings his loved ones xylophones, guitars, and ukuleles. He has a huge smile on his face and dances around the room when he encourages others to play music with him. Upon seeing Ms Dinah, he grabs her hand and leads her to his drums and guitar, ready to delight in the joys and sounds that music provides!

Dolce Dante (sweet Dante), our peaceful warrior continues to teach his family valuable lessons- this one being that everyone can make a difference in this world!
Because of these wonderful outcomes, we would like to bring a “hands on” music program to Neptune Beach Elementary in hopes that many other children will also benefit from the power of a music and movement program. It will cost approximately $8000 including instruments and materials to provide 7 special needs classrooms with 30 minute lessons once a week. The children will learn about the foundations of music such as steady beat, tempo, and dynamics, play instruments, have access to live music, an assortment of styles of music, learn about important social skills, turn taking, self regulation, sign language, just name a few- all while opening their hearts and minds through music as music helps them connect to each other, their families, and the world around them!

We would like your support to make a difference for these sweet children. Throughout the length of this fundraiser, we will post various stories about incredible children and families in hopes that they touch your lives as much as they have touched ours. Positivity is spread through connections, and with your help we believe we can impact the lives of children that could benefit immensely from the exposure of music and musical activities. Music is a language that we can all understand in our hearts and souls!

Any contribution is greatly appreciated, as we are firm believers that it only takes a spark to build a flame!



  • Ashley Trimboli
    • $100 
    • 6 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Dinah Lee Banks Frilling
Jacksonville, FL
Elizabeth Kavanagh
  • Other

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