Fort Wayne Community Schools - FWCS Foundation

The Fort Wayne Community Schools Foundation is legally separate from FWCS and is recognized by the IRS as exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Its purpose is to generate and distribute financial resources to and for FWCS in support of its Mission and Vision.

Financial support through the FWCS Foundation is important because of continued funding challenges. FWCS is making great progress in improving academic achievement, and the Foundation Board wants to ensure it is adequately funded going forward to continue its success. Funds raised will be used to invest in innovative programs that will further increase academic results. The Foundation Board currently is focused on raising funds for the "b Instrumental" program, which will provide musical instruments to students in 7th grade to use through 12th grade. It will also provide increased use of technology advancements in music classes, music teacher professional development and small group or individualized instruction and summer camp for students.

Members of the FWCS Foundation Board are:

  • Tom Borne, President
  • Steve Brody, Secretary
  • Steve Piekarski, Treasurer
  • Derek Devine
  • Mark GiaQuinta
  • Christopher Guerin
  • Iric Headley
  • Michelle Kearns
  • Dr. Pamela Kelly
  • Pete Mallers
  • Dan Ross
  • Paul Spoelhof
  • Tom Trent
Executive Director: Melanie Hall
b Instrumental Program Manager: Bruce Schneider

It's an ensemble effort.

The board members of the Fort Wayne Community Schools Foundation are unified in their belief that the Musical Instrument Enhancement Program will be a resounding success. Fort Wayne Community Schools is investing in the program too. Now we need the rest of the community to join the ensemble so we can implement our plan.

To be successful, we must raise $2.5 million. This will cover the purchase of 50 musical instruments for each of Fort Wayne Community Schools' 11 middle schools - and provide instruction - annually for twelve years. It also will provide support to ensure the instruments are refurbished for the next 7th grader who will use the instrument through 12th grade. Fort Wayne Community Schools is providing support of $1.5 million to complete the funding for the program.

Thank you Major Sponsors:

Chuck and Lisa Surack and Sweetwater Sound, Inc.

Ambassador Enterprises

The Auer Foundation

Auto Color

AWS Foundation

English, Bonter Mitchell Foundation


Yergens Rogers Foundation

Wilson Foundation

Support the FWCS Foundation Musical Instrument CAMPAIGN.

FWCS Foundation, Inc

c/o Stefan Pittenger

1200 S. Clinton Street

Fort Wayne, IN 46802

FWCS Foundation strings player


We can't do it without you.

The music will be richer. The kids will be inspired. And the community will grow in ways never imagined. But just as every great symphony, concerto or opera begins with a single note, this program begins with a single contribution.

With your generous support - and the support of the entire community - we will harness the power of music to make a difference in the lives of thousands of Fort Wayne students.

Donate to the FWCS Foundation Here

Ensure music rings out in our schools.

Let's let the music - and the student success - sing out in our community. Join us in supporting the FWCS Foundation Musical Instrument Campaign.

FWCS Foundation drummer

Ensure the success of our students. Our community.

But, that's not all. The program we've envisioned would also make advanced technology more readily available to our music educators. Provide music educators with advanced professional development. Provide students with small group/individual instruction. Send students to summer camps.

Unfortunately, today we're not close to maximizing the potential of the students in our community. That's because our music programs don't currently provide every student with an opportunity to participate. The FWCS Foundation's Musical Instrument Enhancement Program would end our community's shortfall of available instruments. And, we believe, the results would be immediate and significant.

  • Improve student retention
  • Increase student graduation rates
  • Foster better interpersonal relationships among students
  • Enhance student-teacher relationships
  • Strengthen the students' connection to community
  • Expand student scholarship opportunities

Help provide the brass. The woodwinds. And the strings.

Today our schools face a serious problem. There's a shortfall of instruments available to our students. The reasons are many. An ongoing lack of funding to musical instrument programs has caused our schools to be severely under-supplied. And many parents in our district are simply not able to afford instruments. This leaves many potentially talented musicians, whose academic careers would be enhanced, sitting silent.

The FWCS Foundation believes we can solve this problem. And we have a plan. It starts with getting instruments into the hands of our students. The clarinets and flutes. The alto saxes, trumpets and trombones. Even the strings. With the proper level of funding we would:

Provide instruments to individual students in 7th Grade

Allow students to "borrow" that
instrument until 12th Grade

Refurbish and reissue
instruments to future students

Support the FWCS Foundation Musical Instrument Campaign.

The simple act of picking up an instrument and learning to play can have a lifelong impact on a student. And not just from a musical perspective. Today, more than ever, interaction with the arts can be a critical aspect of a child's education.
In fact, it's well documented
that learning to play an instrument
in school can significantly elevate
a student's academic achievement.

A U.S. Department of Education
study of 25,000 students
found that those involved
with music in middle and
high school were more
proficient in math by
grade 12.Ed King, the
Fort Wayne Community
Schools 2012 Teacher of the
Year, has studied the impact
of music on students.

"I believe that instrumental
music is not only important to
student development," King says, "but it
is the most important subject a student
can study."

King went on to explain that human beings
learn through their senses. And reading
and performing music utilizes more of
those senses than math. More than
language. More, in fact, than
any of the core school subjects. It's time to give students access to all the tools they need to succeed in school.