As a former marching band geek myself, I love, love, love this letter. Music is transformative. Making music available to children who have parents who can't afford to pursue it is an effort worth applauding:
As the principal at Lowe’s Grove Middle School, I want to thank Bob Moulton at National Pawn for his generous donation of over 100 instruments to the students of Durham Public Schools in general and Lowe’s Grove Middle School specifically.
Donations such as his allow students who may not be able to afford an instrument the opportunity to participate in band, and that is an invaluable tool in keeping many kids engaged in school.
I was one of those kids. My middle school principal told my parents that some kids just aren’t cut out for college and that I was not college material. Granted, I had given him much evidence to support his claim. The decisions I was making were leading me down the path of trouble and of dropping out of school.
However, the one hook that had my heart and soul was band. How could I drop out of school and give up my heart and soul? I couldn’t. Soon, my high school schedule consisted of marching band, symphonic band, jazz band and marimba band. I began playing with the city band and even played professionally in a country western band for a couple of years.
Thanks to a scholarship, my college years were also filled with band. Yes, college. You see, my middle school principal was wrong. Wrong about me and wrong to give up on me. Thankfully, neither my parents nor my band director gave up me. Nor did they allow me to give up on myself. They got me involved in band, and that was all I needed.
I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that band engages many kids in ways that other subjects never can. It engages their hearts and touches their souls and draws them like a magnet to school. Band keeps kids grounded behaviorally and enhances them academically, and it is the incentive many kids need to make it all the way.
So, Mr. Moulton, thank you. Thank you for providing Lowe’s Grove Middle School the means to give more kids the opportunity to participate in a program that just may keep them in school. Who knows? The kid you helped save today may be the principal of a middle school tomorrow. Thank you.
Principal, Lowe's Grove Middle School, Durham