Donation is music to the ears of Chicago teacher

September 13, 2011 (CHICAGO)

Twenty-four-year-old Cherrelle Blevins is a music teacher at Bronzeville Lighthouse Elementary Charter School. Tuesday morning she was surprised by representatives from Spark Energy who brought a donation of more than 300 music instruments for the students.

"It is all very new and exciting," Blevins said. "It is going to mean that my students have more opportunities to express themselves, to learn new instruments new songs, and just to engage in learning."

"These instruments mean a lot to me," said student Kayla Johnson. "They mean that I can have more experience in music."

"It means a lot to me so that I can learn more about music and see what I want to be," said student Eric Hawkins Jr.

Blevins wrote a letter to a website asking for instruments. Spark Energy and Alternative Energy Company read her request and decided to grant her wish.

"One of the things that touched us is that she said the students would not only touch her students but the entire student body here," said Spark Energy spokesperson Shawn Zurawski. "We are committed to empowering what matters here in the market we wanted to make this an amazing year for Ms. Blevins."

Lighthouse School principal says Blevins is a dedicated teacher who is passionate about helping her students to grow.

"It engages students in so much more and prepares them for college," said principal Ashleigh Pleauche.

Tuesday, students got an opportunity to play some of the new instruments.

"I like the recorder, flute and piano," said student Lekiya Hughes.

"Music helps me feel happy and to be able to express myself," said student Tyler Tolbert.

"Words cannot express how excited and thankful I am for these instruments," said Blevins.

Each year, 3.5 million teachers spend an average of $500 out-of-pocket on classroom supplies. Spark Energy said they wanted to make this school year amazing for Bronzeville Lighthouse Elementary School students and for their music teacher Ms. Blevins.

As the principal said, music engages students in learning through a different avenue. There are so many components in music where math, reading and comprehension are applied. It prepares them for college.

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