With budget constraints and teacher shortages, education advocates argue that music and arts programs in Guilford County schools lack the support needed for students.
But there’s some good news on the way: Music classes at Greensboro’s Allen Middle School in Guilford County are getting a donation of more than 100 instruments, and $2,000, to help keep those kids connected with their inner musical artist.
The gift comes from National Pawn, a North Carolina-based company that’s also doing the same type of thing in other counties.
National Pawn is unveiling the instruments and officially announcing the funds during an assembly at Allen Middle School on Friday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m.
In addition to the donation in Guilford County, National Pawn is donating at least 100 musical instruments and a $2,000 check this year to schools in each of the following counties: Alamance, Cumberland, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Mecklenburg and Wake.
National Pawn, which operates 19 locations across the state, has a history of supporting youth music programs in counties that are a home to one of its stores. This year is the ninth year in which it’s done something similar.
Since 2010, the company has donated over 3,500 instruments and $62,000 in cash to over 20 public performing arts programs in various counties.
Sometimes stolen items end up in pawnshops – but, hopefully, that’s not the case with any of these instruments. According to National Pawn, there is no need to worry about that. A statement from the company reads: “The details of each and every transaction including make, model and serial number as well as full customer information is submitted electronically each night to the police department, which then cross references this information with a list of anything stolen. National Pawn stores hold items up to 90 days to give law enforcement time to thoroughly check.”
Bob Moulton, the company’s founder, said this week that he has a strong passion for giving back to the community that’s fueled by his own past experiences. As a child, he loved music and wanted to join the middle school band, he said, but he was unable to do so due to his family’s financial issues.
According to a press release announcing this year’s donations, “His mom, a thrifty shopper, eventually purchased a trumpet at a yard sale, which allowed Moulton to live out his musical dreams. He credits his experiences in band with helping him develop both a sense of self and sense of collaboration, which he still uses decades later.”
Moulton said he really likes seeing the kids’ reactions when they get the instruments.
“When we first began donating instruments to schools nine years ago, we had no idea just how great the needs in North Carolina schools would be,” he said. “Every year, we are touched by stories from teachers, parents and students themselves about how these instruments inspired a love of learning and sense of community with fellow classmates.”