Harlem Instructor Who Launched Songs Program Wins $25K Prize

HARLEM, NY — A Harlem public school trainer who reworked his school’s audio section by starting off a samba program has been honored with a $25,000 prize for “educating excellence,” organizers declared this week.

Dana Monteiro, a songs instructor at Frederick Douglass Academy, is one of five academics chosen this yr for the FLAG Award for Educating Excellence leading prize, which is awarded to 1 educator who went higher than and beyond in each and every of the five boroughs. His prize also contain $10,000 for his college.

Monteiro’s improvements commenced when he been confronted with a obstacle: class measurements just about doubled at the superior university, producing it difficult to educate conventional band or jazz.

Though using a trip in Brazil a lot more than a decade ago, Monteiro had “an epiphany,” realizing that samba — the Brazilian dance and songs style — would function superior for substantial teams, and also be “inclusive” for novice learners with fewer musical working experience, in accordance to FLAG.

Returning from the holiday vacation, Monteiro begun drum lessons and eventually “transformed” the audio division by centering it around samba. He started Harlem Samba in 2005 as “a non-common right after college music ensemble.”

In the ensuing a long time, it has grown to include things like much more than 300 college students each and every calendar year at Frederick Douglass Academy. Monteiro also started a nonprofit, “A Lifetime with Drums,” letting the method to broaden to pretty much a dozen other faculties.

Monteiro ideas to use the prize cash to create out Frederick Douglass Academy’s recording studio, earning it a lot easier to record the samba band and teach a digital tunes production program.

The FLAG Award started previous yr, funded by the nonprofit FLAG Foundation for Excellence in Education and learning and the Fuhrman Family members Basis. Organizers had asked students, mom and dad, principals and colleagues to nominate deserving academics. They in the end received additional than 1,000 nominations.

From the nominees, FLAG selected 35 semifinalists who experienced to complete a extensive software, do interviews and post other supplies.

“Lecturers, pupils, administrators, and family members are finishing a school year not like something we have ever knowledgeable in advance of, and it is essential that we consider the time to honor what has been accomplished,” stated jury member Dr. Betty A. Rosa, Commissioner of Instruction and President of the University of the State of New York.

“I am thrilled at this prospect to figure out and celebrate our inspirational teachers.”

Patch reporter Anna Quinn contributed.