Below is an update from A. J. West Elementary School in Aberdeen WA. They were awarded this year and as a result their program has doubled in size!
I'm sending you a picture of the students that will be using the instruments that were donated to A.J. West in the spring [...]. We are so blessed to have received this grant in a time when it has become increasingly difficult for our families to afford to rent or purchase instruments. Despite the economic times and because of your generous donation, my beginning class has doubled in size! This year I am starting 33 students on their musical journey!
I appreciate so much the difference that good quality musical instruments can make in even a beginner's sound. Last year, I was able to lend some instruments to students, but they were in poor to only fair condition. I can already hear the difference in the sound of the class with so many instruments in excellent condition!
I am also sending a picture of a letter that a student wrote. Every time I read it, it makes a lump in my throat. This student came to me in the spring last year (in tears) and said that she was going to have to quit playing in band. When I asked why, she said that her parents could no longer afford to pay for her rental instrument. I had just heard from you about the status of the grant and I knew that the instruments were on their way, so I asked her to keep coming to class (even without an instrument). Just one week later, the instruments arrived and I was able to check one out to her! She is continuing this year as a second year student and making great progress. I know that without your help, this student would have been forced to give up something that she really enjoys.
Behind every smile in the first picture is a story like this, a story of potential that now may be realized because of your gift to our school. I don't know how to thank you enough for helping these students begin their musical life!
Elementary Band Director
Aberdeen School District #5