By Rama K. Ramaswamy
This year's "Keys to the Future" spring auction for Preschool at Wellesley Schools (P.A.W.S) PTO will be an evening of "live bidding, good friends, and music.” The PTO’s largest fundraising event of the year is set for April 7 at a new location in Natick Center. Attendees will enjoy a night out at the converted firehouse/local music venue, The Center for Arts, with an exciting assortment of silent auction items. Following the bidding, there will be live music from special guest, national recording artist Jon McLaughlin.
Among the prioritized programs P.A.W.S hopes to fund is their music program. According to Elizabeth Nelson, P.A.W.S PTO President, "the P.A.W.S PTO auction is our main fundraiser and the majority of funds raised directly support our music man, Mr. Ken. His passion for music is felt by all P.A.W.S families. My children come back singing his songs, dancing to the rhythm and creatively creating new lyrics to the melodies he plays.”
According to Susan Popper, a former P.A.W.S parent, "my son came home singing songs and talking about Ken the Music Man. Music therapy increased his participation, motivation, and social interactions with other children."
Wellesley Public Schools Director of Early Childhood Rebecca Zieminski said, "we highly value the work of our music therapist with our preschoolers, as music therapy can be very beneficial to young children by helping them gain skills in communication, self-expression, and sensory integration. During a music therapy session students have an opportunity to increase verbalization, practice appropriate social behavior and self-regulation skills and improve fine and gross motor skills. The funding from the P.A.W.S. PTO brings this invaluable opportunity to our students and enriches the highly specialized programing we offer to all students.”
According to Nicole Meyers, "our annual auction raises the majority of funds we pass on to P.A.W.S. for vital programming such as our amazing music therapy program that benefits our typically developing and special needs students. This year we wanted to extend our invitation beyond the P.A.W.S. community and invite the public to join us not only for the auction but also a concert as something exciting to celebrate our music program with the gift of Jon’s musical talents. Jon is an amazing pianist and songwriter and we are thrilled to have him with us for Keys to the Future.”
Tickets are available for purchase at paws-pto.org and will include access to silent auction items, cash bar, Jon’s performance, appetizers/dessert, event photographer, and a chance at the door prize. This is a 21+ event. To purchase tickets, visit http://paws-pto.org/tickets/.
Those bringing guests are asked to fill out a registration out again for them, as well, at http://paws-pto.org/guest-registration-auction/.