JES Students Step Up to Help
Led by the school’s Step and Drumline teams, the Jones Elementary (JES) family of staff, students, and parents collected toys to give this holiday season. Every item collected is donated to children in Child Protective Services (CPS). The Step and Drumline teams are organized by Music Teacher Brejan Jackson. The teams have been holding the toy drive since 2014 after Jackson learned of CPS’ need for gifts during the holidays. At the end of the drive, JES hosts a celebration pep rally, which has become the Step Team and Drumline’s main annual performance.
“I was informed of how difficult it is for CPS to get toys for children,” Jackson said. “So I felt obligated to do something to make their holiday as pleasant as others.”
The JES Step and Drumline teams were created in 2013 and have quickly grown into one of JES’ most popular groups. Wanting to introduce something new to students, Jackson had the idea to develop the two teams. While Jackson leads both groups and they often perform together, the teams are separate from one another. The Step team is open to students in second through fifth grade and drumline to third through fifth grade. The instruments needed for the Drumline were purchased through a grant for after-school activities.
“I wanted to bring something different to the school and district,” Jackson said. “This also benefits students by strengthening their coordination.”
To join the groups, students have to audition at the beginning of the fall semester. Once a member of the teams, students commit to rehearsing every Tuesday. Drumline practices in the mornings before school and Step after school. Jackson creates all the routines for each team and works to prepare for performances throughout the year.