The Santa Rosa Symphony operates a free, El Sistema-inspired social action after-school program, providing instruments, daily music instruction and support to underserved children from grades two through eight in the Roseland neighborhood. “Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and have very diverse academic and emotional needs. Through the Simply Strings program, I have noticed students build confidence, learn time management and self-discipline skills. They are encouraged to takes risks and most importantly, they feel a part of a positive, musically focused community. The students have a strong sense of pride and are excited to share their learning and talents with the greater community. It’s unique and, quite honestly, possibly life-changing for many of our participating kids.” — Jenny Young, principal of Sheppard Accelerated Elementary School Simply Strings members 5 After-School Social Action