We are a Title 1 school in a very poor area. Every day I see students coming to class with worn out clothes and holes in their sneakers. I tried to do an activity with my classes about "All I Want for Christmas", and was brought to tears when several students came to me at the end of the day, and said that their parents had told them that they could not afford presents this Christmas. Many of my students come from foster homes, and many more come from home situations that are very diffucult. I get lots of hugs every day, and I have a feeling that part of the reason is the lack of hugs and encouragement they receive at home. By the time these students reach middle school age, many of them have lost much of their hope. I have so many students whose behavior is less than acceptable, and I know that much of that comes from the hardships they go through at home. However, you should see their face light up when we get to play percussion. I only have a few tattered hand drums, some tamborines and some rhythm sticks, but they love it. I showed all of my classes a video of STOMP, and even their classroom teachers said it was all they could talk about for days. We have done the body percussion thing, and are currently learning a piece I wrote myself using cardboard boxes and Home Depot buckets, but I yearn to give them so much more. So many of them have so much potential!
A part of their hopelessness comes from the almost certain fact that they will not go to college. Even the students who excell academically would have a very hard time affording tuition at a community college or the transportation to get there. Music is an amazing avenue for these students. With the right skills they could easily earn music scholarships, and a passage to an education they would otherwise miss out on. I would love to help prepare them to make it into the high school drumline, but right now I don't even have a pair of actual drumsticks, and zero budget for any instruments. I have purchased sticks in the past out of my own pocket, and was happy to do so, but I am unable to afford such things now, and it breaks my heart that one of the only things that brings a smile to these kid's faces is so limited due to our lack of materials. Drumpads on stands and sticks would be such a huge step in a great direction. I can't wait to see how far my kids will go! Please help them get there! Donate TODAY :)Read more »