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Hello Canadian Suzuki colleagues,
I am writing to you as I return from my first meetings as a SAA board member. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing ideas and making decisions that will support us as we pursue our dream of enriching the lives of the children and families in our community through Suzuki education.
I feel energized and enthusiastic about our association. The Board is just one piece of a large group of volunteers as well as a committed administrative staff, who all work very hard on our behalf.
As the only current Canadian member of the Board, I am happy to report to you that there is a great deal of respect for and curiosity about our particular “northern” challenges and interests.
We need to make our presence as Canadian Suzuki teachers known. All are welcome to submit an article on any topic of interest to you for the American Suzuki Journal. There is good support of the inclusion of French articles as well as those in English.
Have fun exploring the SAA website, suzukiassociation.org. There is now a Canadian page, which you can access through the quick links on the home page. Find and read the wonderful article on the website dealing with Canadian concerns. (Hint: it is by Karen Kimmett and is one of the “Ask the Experts” columns.)
Also, do participate in the discussion area on the SAA website that is set aside for Canadians. There has been some lively conversation there about a number of topics. In fact there is a lot of information in many places on the website that you will find very helpful.
This weekend, a fair amount of time in the board meetings was spent discussing the needs of rural and remote teachers in both Canada and Latin America. There is a deep concern that teacher training be available and possible for all those who wish to participate.
You may not be aware that there are scholarships offered by the SAA, earmarked for teachers from remote locations who wish to take training. Not many people have applied for these in the past, so if you live far away from an institute that offers training in your instrument, please do make use of that money that has been set aside for you!
Even more of our dreams can be brought to fruition with greater financial resources. There are a number of creative ways that have been introduced as a means to engage the members in fundraising.
One particularly lovely one is the SAA Galaxy of Stars. It provides an opportunity to give from our hearts by honouring a person or persons, a situation, an event, or whatever truly brightens our lives. It is a chance to recognize and dedicate the gifts of emotional support, encouragement, knowledge, and inspiration that we have received from those who have helped to shape our lives. For a donation, a star on the website will have the name of the person you wish to honour, a message from you and your name. The SAA will send your honouree an email apprising them of your tribute—or you may prefer that your tribute remain anonymous.
Here a challenge for you! I would like YOU to go to the SAA website, donate and dedicate a star to someone special AND also find and read the following two articles: The Other Suzuki Triangle (Mark George) and the article mentioned above by Karen Kimmett. I promise that I will donate to the SAA, dedicating stars to the first two Canadians who reply to me that they have completed the task!
Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know you have read the articles and bought a star. You will be eligible for the prize and I will add your name to a list of enthusiastic SAA supporters to be published in the next SAO (Suzuki Association of Ontario) journal. Your comments about the articles, or about other areas of interest are also always welcome!
Best wishes as you begin a new year of exciting work with your students and their families.Margot Jewell
Suzuki Association of the Americas