A program to help students with special needs in St. Johns County could be coming to an end.
The Sound Connection music therapy program is facing budget cuts and the students and their families are asking for the public's help Thursday.
"I never thought that this was something I'd ever be able to do," says Cassandra Kaes after hearing her son, Oliver, sing for the first time.
Oliver is considered to have high-functioning autism.
"If I even so much as played a song around the house he would throw his hands up over his ears," Kaes says.
After his mother enrolled him in Sound Connection, which is offered at four different schools in Ponte Vedra, he's opened up to music.
"I know what challenges they're facing in their lives and I use music to help them work on those challenges," says Minda Gordon, a board-certified music therapist.
Kaes credits her son's success to the music therapy program. It's grant and donation funded through the cultural center at Ponte Vedra Beach.
They'll need to raise more than $50,000 in three schools to keep helping students like Oliver.
"I think there would be a hole in the fabric should we have to pull out for these kids," Gordon says.
More than 200 kids need your help to keep being the best they can be.
"Seeing him on stage, sitting still, following directions; doing everything he's supposed to be doing and feeling so proud and happy afterwards, that's not an average thing for us at our home," Kaes says.
If you donate anything above $50, the Persbacker-Wyman family foundation will match your donation. You have until July 1 to donate. Click here to donate. The Woodcock Foundation for the Appreciation of the Arts is the original donor for Sound Connections: Music Therapy and has continued to do so for 10 years.