The VPMI was founded in partnership with the Achieve Foundation in early 2015 by Charlie and Vanessa Pollock, founder of Pollock Properties Group at Keller Williams. The purpose of the program is to fund the rental of band and orchestra instruments for all in-need students in the district, as well as help repair instruments throughout the South Orange-Maplewood School District (SOMSD), and to provide private music instruction and professional-grade instruments to prodigious Columbia High School students, who are nominated for the award by their music teachers.
Since the program was established, the VPMI has underwritten the rental of more than 800 instruments so that all students who wish to participate in band or orchestra are able to do so, and has awarded 60 scholarships for private music lessons or professional-grade instruments to talented CHS students. Over the years, the VMPI has also funded several music-related teacher grant requests through Achieve.
The Vanessa Pollock Music Initiative is conducted in partnership with the SOMSD and Achieve, the local Education Foundation. Achieve is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that raises funds to promote exemplary public education for all students and educators in our community. Said Achieve Executive Director Eileen Collins Neri, “The VPMI is compatible with Achieve’s mission to help ensure that all children in the South Orange-Maplewood School District have equal access to every learning opportunity, and we’re pleased to support the arts in our schools through this fund.”