The Gift of Music for Meredith ELL

We are ELL teachers at Meredith Middle School in Des Moines, Iowa. We are seeking support for our Meredith Middle School ELL guitar program.  The interest in learning guitar among our ELL students has more than doubled. (Only one of our guitar groups is featured in the video and many of those guitars are lended to us.) We would like to purchase guitars and accessories to give more ELL students an opportunity to bring the gift of music home to their families. We would also like to expose our students to other muscians through field trips or bring in guest artists and teachers. 

We teach a special population. Many of our students are refugees from Burma; others have been displaced from countries all over the world. They come into our classroom with many challenges, yet they find the perseverance and courage to learn English in hopes to help their families assimilate a little easier. Some of our students have never been to school prior to stepping into our doors. Many of our students have survived trauma or are surviving circumstances no child should ever face. Many of our students translate for their parents and take on adult responsibilities in order to help their families survive the day to day in America. Their experiences of childhood are very different than those of many native born children. For these students, our guitar program has lifted some of the burden of daily life.

Many of our students are playing guitar at their churches and in their homes.  Students have returned from the weekend with stories of their family playing guitar together. Music has brought peace, hope, and healing to many of these families. Music has unlocked the key to learning and confidence in our students. It allows them to feel at home and gives them a sense of accomplishment in a country that can be so different than their own. Singing music also provides them with practice in reading fluency and English langauge pronunciation.  Music has filled the cultural divide in our classroom. This program is proof that music really is the universal language.

Playing guitar and singing allows our students to celebrate their culture while learning the English language in school, and sharing this gift at home. Please consider giving a donation to our program. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

If you have a used guitar stashed away in a closet and would like to donate it to our cause, please send us a message.

  • Vaso Dobrosavljevic 
    • $25 
    • 76 mos
  • Mirjana Dobrosavljevic 
    • $25 
    • 76 mos
  • Erin Moon 
    • $20 
    • 76 mos
  • Susie Heiliger  
    • $25 
    • 76 mos
  • Donna Griffen  
    • $100 
    • 76 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Erin Nennig Maxon 
Des Moines, IA
Erin Maxon