Near and Far Aid, a Southport-based philanthropic group, has donated $5,000 so a nonprofit music group can expand its program of private violin lessons for elementary school children in Bridgeport.

The grant was announced by KEYS -- Kids Empowered by Your Support -- which offers music instruction, choral programs, after-school and summer programs, and other music activities to more than 300 students in 11 schools.

Rob Silvan, a KEYS spokesman, said the grant was important at a time when public-school budget cuts are affecting music programs.

Near and Far Aid said its mission is to fund projects that address the causes and effects of poverty in Fairfield County, and does so by identifying and funding programs that provide basic necessities and those that seek to achieve lasting change.