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  • Writer's pictureRetha Mattern

Strong Communities

As I've been visiting with people and sharing about my campaign, I've been sharing that one of the principles I am running on is that I support strong communities. What does a strong community look like? This week, it looked like public-private partnerships in action to support elementary school students.


On Tuesday night, my daughter was one of nearly 700 4th and 5th grade students from Bismarck elementary schools who took part in the first-ever All City Orchestra Concert held at the Bismarck Event Center. (Can you see her? She's in the back row, just left of center, with the violin!)


This concert was the product of a year's worth of work done to introduce students to orchestra and music, made possible through the hard work and dedication of the music teachers, the students, the student's classroom teachers and administration, and parents. In addition, various foundations and donations helped to support by providing free instrument rentals to students in need, and a grant from the Bismarck State College Foundation which supported the ability of the schools to rent the facility for the evening. In addition, parents and relatives provided a free-will donation to offset additional costs of the program.


This was a great example of how partnerships and community support can produce great outcomes for our children. By teaching them the value of hard work and perseverance, these students will finish their school year on a "high note" with pride in their accomplishments, and a greater appreciation for the arts. That's a strong community in action!

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