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Banding together to gather instruments in Bladen County

READ MORE: Banding together to gather instruments in Bladen County
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Bladen County band directors are asking for the public's help. They need old instruments for children who can't afford to be in band. The building housing Elizabethtown Middle School used to be East Bladen High School. Back in the early seventies, they had one of the best band programs in the country. "Out of a population of about four or five hundred students, you'd have over 100 in the band. If you look around now you don't see that many seats in here, and what we're trying to do is re-establish bands in Bladen County,” said Elizabethtown Middle School Principal Ray Crabtree. That's why Elizabethtown Middle School band director John Hudson started a county-wide program called LINKS. It stands for ‘lonely instruments for needy kids’. "I have so many students who come in and they'd like to be in the band, and their parents just can't afford to buy them an instrument. And I think that it's important that every student who wants to have that opportunity, should have that opportunity,” Hudson said. Hudson was given a loaner trumpet when he was a kid. It inspired his love for music, and made him want to do the same for other children. Donated instruments will be sanitized, refurbished, and given to Bladen County middle schoolers who can't buy their own. Six instruments have been donated so far; two trumpets, two trombones, a clarinet, and a flute. Band directors are also accepting monetary donations to repair old instruments that are donated. "We want to see a resurgence of bands in Bladen County, back to the days it used to be,” Crabtree said. Donors will receive a receipt for a tax deduction; if interested in donating, call LINKS Chairman John Hudson, the band director, at 910-862-4107 or 910-862-2234.

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It is just wrong.

I think it is terrible when there is an interest among the students and the school will not furnish them what they need. Thank God my boys are out of school now, one in college and the other in a high demand career. School politics are terrible. Can you believe that when my youngest son was in high school and taking Math and English the school did not furnish them with books? They handed out copies of the worksheets instead, saying they did not have funds to furnish all students with books. Books they needed to bring home, review assignments, and refresh their memory with. Now I see we have students wishing to take band and the school has no instruments. These are hard times and instruments can be very expensive, especially if you purchase a new one. I wish this were not true, but from my experience I bet if a student needed a new pair of football cleats, or a pair of basketball shoes, or a baseball glove because their parents couldn't afford to buy them, the school and the community would be all over this by getting them everything they needed and more. Maybe it is wrong to want to develope a musical talent you can use for the rest of your life instead of playing sports for a few years in school which in most cases you will never do again after graduation. A fat couch potato can sit on the couch and still play their instrument years later, while the other can only sit there with the remote in hand watching a game they used to play on TV. Laughing!

Great Idea - But why should we have to donate.

As a current parent from the band program listed in this article. I am wouldn't give a dime or and instrument UNTIL THE SYSTEM decides to fund the ARTS. Did you know that this same system provides all the government money to the TESTED subjects but gives ZERO to the arts. This is sad. We donate our tax money - the stimulus money and it goes to students that won;t do their homework. And their parents don't seem to care. Why is it the the mismanagement of funds is not being addressed by the parents and the community - I have asked and no one hears my voice. The motto mentions excellence in the arts - will let them put THEIR MONEY where THEIR MOUTH is and fund the programs. There are plenty of instruments there from when a great band director was in the county. No money has been spent to fix anything since then. There is honestly NO priority for music in the schools. Kudos for a teacher that would like to change that - but if you want a real story check into why there is NO money given to the arts and electives from the money allotted from the state? Or maybe why Bladen County teaches a MS class called - Physical Education where the kids are asked to walk in a circle while that socialize for a class period. By the way stop by and ask to observe a Health Education Class - You might have a long wait. If you ask me that is pushing the coach potato issue in the future to a new level. If anyone would like to end the courruption and save and students and tax money I would love to help. I have asked the local officials all the way to the new superintendent - by the way there was money to buy all the principals laptops and blackberries but the kids in the arts have NO FUNDS - and the owners of this technology do not KNOW how to use it. What a waste of money. I have written the educational people in raleight and not even a thank you we will look in to it - you would think that they would care that the system is being provided a teaching for a Health Class and No One at the School takes Health - Still no funding for the Arts there is something very crooked going on here - there was a rumor that the NEW Super - Killingsworth - had found money at the beginning of the year so no one would have to lose their job - which is NOT true because I know one that did. Anyway - help would be appreciated.