Hey, where’d my summer go?

Well, that was an awfully quick summer; seems like I was just taking some cooking lessons in Tuscany, a quick swim at Newport Beach, then dropping the boy off for his first day of middle school (eek)! So, back to work:

GriffinEd is now beginning its second year of official operations. So far, here’s what we’ve managed to do:

  • Secured 501(c)3 status with the state of California and the IRS, which makes your donations to GriffinEd fully tax-deductible; THANK YOU for making my work possible.
  • Built a new web site with free streaming audio and downloads.
  • Released my third album and begun demo recordings for a fourth.
  • Done over 100 free live shows and writing workshops for schools, libraries, and other places of learning.
  • Finished a study with 160 kids and seven teachers showing that using my music for five minutes a day dramatically improves kids’ science vocabulary.
  • Managed to get some very positive coverage in the local press.
  • Raised enough money through CD sales and tax-deductible donations (again, THANK YOU) to keep this project going for another year.

Okay, looking ahead now: I’m booking shows for the new school year, so if you want me to come to your school, library etc. just contact me and let me know when you want me to come. I have a number of upcoming open-to-the-public shows (Worldcon, Conchord, CSTA, Conflikt, etc.) that I’ll be using to promote GriffinEd. Come September, recording for the new album begins in earnest, scheduled for release in early 2014. Time allowing, I’m going to start bringing some other arts (besides music) to the education party. Plus some other cool projects in the hopper that I’m not supposed to discuss here until they’re officially announced. From a business standpoint, the next big thing is to aggressively pursue grant funding so we can make this a more financially sustainable endeavor. Boy, it would be great if we could make my salary match the one I was making as a full-time teacher…

What’s that you say? You’d like to help? Wonderful; if I’ve learned anything thus far it’s that I cannot do this alone. Here are some things you can do to help GriffinEd in its global mission to make learning more fun and more effective at the same time:
-Send a link to this site to everyone in the world. Especially to anyone with kids.
Make a donation of any size via PayPal. Seriously, even $1 (or whatever crazy money you use) helps more than you may realize because it adds to my credibility on grant applications: 10,000 people giving $1 looks way better than one donor giving $10,000.
-Help me arrange a show at your local school, library, scout troop meeting, book club, etc. Most of my shows happen because someone who is actually THERE helped to set it up. Oh, and it’s free.
Send me feedback. This whole project is intended as a public service, so if you’ve got ideas let’s have ‘em! What should I be writing about? Which songs are you using, and for what age?

Again, thank you for your moral, spiritual, and financial support. Most schools (at least in California) have no budget for what I’m offering so the only way to make this work is to give it all away for free and hope that enough people will want to help me make the dream a reality. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together in the coming year.