Early learning is an investment

with big returns.

Children who receive quality early learning don’t just have higher test scores.

They also have fewer teen pregnancies, improved mental health, lower risk of heart disease and longer lifespans.

This is why every dollar invested in quality early learning returns over $14.

As a result, the investment required to provide daily instruction for just one class of 24 students for a full school year will return over a quarter million dollars from reduced education and welfare costs, savings from crime reduction, and related increases in the tax base – all in addition to improved graduation rates and stronger families.

That’s an opportunity to benefit not only the children and families who participate, but the entire community for years to come.

This is why Great Bend is working so hard to make high quality early learning highly accessible.

Quality early learning that is extremely accessible.

Children who participate in early childhood educational programs enter school more ready to learn.

Study after study shows that kids with early childhood learning experiences not only show improved performance in reading and mathematics, but also a reduction in special education placement and grade retention and a host of additional long-term benefits. The challenge has always been making these vital experiences accessible to kids with the greeatest need and fewest resources, whether in-person or online.

Sound Scholars™ uses the horsepower that music brings to learning in fast-paced, interactive online classes that are as rigirous as they are fun and accessible.

Today, Sound Scholars™ has served hundreds of kids in not just in Mason County, Washington where Great Bend is based, but in 34 additional states and 7 countries. And we have the opportunity to do so much more both in-person and virtually.

In the coming year we hope to launch a Spanish-language version of the program both online, while building our collaborations that help make early learning universally accessible to all families. 

And with your help, we can.


“It was clear from the beginning of our very first virtual music lessons that Great Bend Center for Music is doing so much more than just helping kids become great musicians. I have loved watching my son practice new skills, and I have seen him develop his cooperation, teamwork, listening skills, and critical thinking along the way. Whether or not he grows up to be a musician, I am so glad he has had such a positive experience with an awesome teacher and a community.”

– Sound Scholars™ parent

More ways to make waves!

See if your company matches donations!

Combining your company’s matching gift with our current donor pledge could mean Pod Squad Membership goes 3–4x as far to support our no and low barrier community music programs!

Enter your employer’s name in the search box below to find out if your employee offers matching donations, or contact your HR department if you are unable to locate your company — they may still provide matching gifts!

Help us spread the word!

Help introduce our work and this matching gift opportunity by sharing our posts on social media or sending this page directly to family and friends!