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Rio Tinto Coal & Allied announces $500k for The Song Room’s Hunter Valley programs

Coal & Allied has announced further support for a new partnership with The Song Room to deliver the ‘Hunter Valley Creative Communities’ program. Having supported our programs in regional New South Wales since 2007, delivering workshops to over 24 school communities, reaching more than 7000 children and holding 11 intensive music camps throughout the region we are excited to embark on a continued partnership.

Upper Hunter children in disadvantaged schools will continue to benefit from the Song Room’s ‘Community and Harmony at School’ project thanks to support from the Coal & Allied Community Development Fund.

Recently, Coal & Allied has thanked its 150 community partners and announced a further $4.5 million in support will be available through its Community Development Fund over the next three years, for projects to help build a more sustainable future for the Hunter Valley.

One of the many programs to benefit is The Song Room. “The Hunter Valley is an important region for The Song Room, where Coal & Allied’s funding has supported our ‘Community and Harmony at School’ project,” The Song Room CEO Caroline Aebersold said.

In 2012, in partnership with the Coal & Allied Community Development Fund, The Song Room will be delivering the “Hunter Valley Creative Communities” program across the Maitland and Cessnock regions. This program will be run on a cluster and community basis, giving local parents, carers and community members multiple opportunities to engage with the school community. This will involve seven 12 month duration school workshop programs including: Tenambit, Cessnock East, Cessnock West, Jerry’s Plains, Milbrodale, King Street and Muswellbrook South Primary Schools.

Muswellbrook South Public School Principal Rebecca Langdon said that she is really pleased that the Song Room’s program will continue to be provided to students and teachers.

“The program is run every Friday and coordinated by a Song Room Teaching Artist who gives students exposure and cultural awareness to different forms of music, drama and dance. Each term, various classes have a different focus such as drumming, rap, cultural and popular music. Many students wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to participate in these activities so it really benefits them and enhances their learning.” Ms Langdon said.

Principal of Community Investment, Stephen Sneddon, said that Coal & Allied understands the importance of education and is proud to support TheSong Room.

“The Song Room provides an invaluable opportunity for students in the Hunter to enhance their learning through music and the arts. We partner with organisations such as The Song Room to support educational programs to the community and build sustainability in the region. Since 1999, the Coal & Allied Community Development Fund has invested more than $11 million in the Hunter Valley through projects such as The Song Room,” Mr Sneddon said.

The end results are innovative, capacity-building program tailor-made in collaboration with the communities of the Upper Hunter Valley.

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