My name is Jennifer Frerichs and I teach choral/ general music to students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade. My students are great kids; capable of extraordinary things. They are rhythmic, imaginative, and talented. Unfortunately, they also come from an at-risk, high trauma environment. You see, I teach in the projects of Richmond, Virginia. Many of my children do not have a nurturing home life, so our school is their comfort--their safe haven. We laugh, we hug, we counsel, and we learn; all in hopes that our children will leave us with the skills necessary to be a productive member of society.
Every time we have an assembly or a program at our school, we either have to do without a microphone, which makes it very difficult to hear, or one of our teachers has to haul her karaoke machine in from home.
We recently had a Black History program and the teacher's karaoke machine was barely adequate.
The wires on the microphones were not long enough and the small machine just didn't produce enough amplification to make the program as effective as it needed to be. Along with that is the fact that the stage lights have all burnt out and no one seems able to replace them. Parents and guest performers complain that it is so dark on the stage that the children can't even be seen.
I would LOVE to give my students the opportunity to perform with appropriate sound and lighting. I can't express what it would mean to them to have a concert where the microphones work and the lighting truly makes them feel like they are the stars!
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