The sounds of excited school children and their parents met Julia Meyer as she walked into the gymnasium of Hale Cook Elementary. She was there to watch a Reach Out And Dance (R.O.A.D.) Rally, a time when students perform for their parents and peers. Introduced to R.O.A.D. at a Kansas City Ballet event, Julia was eager to watch the Rally firsthand.
KCB’s R.O.A.D. program combines dance with academics to make to make learning fun, all to live music. As a former high school math teacher, Julia is particularly interested in this idea. Having conducted many lesson plans herself, Julia said, “I know there are ways to cement concepts in students’ brains that are unique and fun.” Moved by the discipline and joyful energy of the students as they demonstrate what they learned, Julia and her husband, Dennis, have decided to support the Ballet with a philanthropic gift.
Teaching math to teenagers is a challenge most of us would shy away from. She saw an opportunity to help her students succeed, knowing that many had negative feelings about math and would have that obstacle to overcome. For Julia, math isn’t simply another required subject, it is an incredible system that teaches important lessons about problem solving. Julia always hoped to connect on a different level with her students, taking creative approaches to teaching.
Julia recognizes the connection R.O.A.D. makes for students between academics and creativity. She knows that the program is incredibly important, providing “students a chance to be in touch with that side of humanity that they maybe would not be in their day-to-day life.”
Over the years, Julia has gained an appreciation for ballet. Her two daughters participated in dance class throughout their growing up years. More recently, two of her granddaughters dance in KCB’s Nutcracker. Julia loved that her daughters and granddaughters had the opportunity to dance because, as she says, “Dance allows participants to develop respect for and awe in their bodies.” Through watching performances with family and seeing students grow through dance, her respect for the artform continues to increase.
In retirement, Julia finds meaningful ways to support her passions. Julia Meyer is philanthropic to communities she holds dear. She gives back to education and the arts, both of which have played pivotal roles in her life. Required to take a minimum distribution from her IRA, Julia has chosen to make a gift directly to Kansas City Ballet from that IRA. Giving directly from an IRA doesn’t create taxable income. It also allows individuals to utilize the funds in their IRA to support causes they care about. To discuss a gift that is meaningful to you, contact Director of Gift Planning Rebecca Zandarski at 816.216.5597 or firstname.lastname@example.org.