I am Administrative Assistant to the Blanco County Attorney who is the prosecutor for our CPS cases; I also serve on our Blanco County Child Protection and Family Advocacy Board - one of our kids was placed in foster care in Travis County - I heard about your organization from one of your board members and told his CASA worker this would be something that might be beneficial to him - Well, he is in the music mentorship program and is working toward a music scholarship at ACC - he has performed at a CASA annual fund raiser and was a huge success - your program has helped this young man to gain confidence in himself and has shown a sense of humor that we had not seen before - in closing, a big thank you to your organization - music for some kids really does make a difference!
I am the volunteer coordinator at Helping Hand Home for Children... so though I am not technically a "client served," I do represent the clients served by Kids in a New Groove-- kids in the foster care system who are currently living at HHH, which is a residential treatment center for children who have been abused and neglected.
I was ecstatic to hear about KING-- it almost sounded too good to be true! It was incredibly easy to sign our kids up and get them started with music lessons right away. Missy, the certified band teacher who comes to give our kids lessons each Saturday, is extremely professional and whole-heartedly committed to our kids.... so committed that she switched to Saturday morning lessons so she could continue to teach them even after getting a job within the school district!
We currently have kids taking piano, guitar, and percussion classes, and one will begin violin lessons soon! These weekly lessons have given our kids a chance to see the pay-off of perservance, patience, and hard work. They are being given skills they can take with them long after they leave our doors and move on to families. And most importantly, they are gaining confidence in their newfound talents and honing a skill they can focus on when they are feeling at their lowest. I think this is a tremendous means for self-expression for our kids, who all have unspeakably traumatic pasts.
This past spring, Kids in a New Groove purchased a guitar for one of the most committed students. He is extremely proud of this and it has raised his self esteem tremendously! They hosted a luncheon for the kids this past Christmas, where they got to meet and interact with other KING students. All our kids returned from the luncheon beaming with happiness. One of our students got a chance to perform with professional musicians at a recent KING fundraiser. He left with stars in his eyes and I know he is forever changed by that experience.
This is a truly amazing organization and I hope they can continue to grow and reach out to more and more foster families and agencies in order to spread the healing power of music.