Key Club Continues Strings For Shepard

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For the second year in a row, key club vice president and senior Katlin Nguyen, along with other members of the key club, raised money to buy instruments which they will donate to the Donna Shepard Intermediate School orchestra program.

“We realize that not all students have the adequate amount of money to participate in extracurricular activities especially if it needs an instrument so the goal of that is to somewhat close that socioeconomic barrier present within MISD,” Nguyen said.

Last year, Nguyen applied to the Youth Opportunities Fund, a national key club organization, and received $500 dollars to spend on two violins. She also used $100 of key club donated funds as well as her own personal donation to buy a third violin. In Nov. of 2018, senior Trinity Nguyen, junior Megan Novak and Nguyen visited Donna Shepard and saw the 5th graders play the donated instruments.

“For me, that was a huge experience seeing that ‘hey, something that I did, something that we spearheaded as a key club actually worked’ and we can see that kids are finding joy within the instrument and are creatively expressing themselves,” Nguyen said.

The district provided an initial 38 violins for fifth-grade students to use in their exploratory orchestra class. Orchestra director Amara Jackson gives the violins donated by the key club to underprivileged students who do not have the resources to rent their own instrument or to students who require a different size violin.

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“It has been lovely working with the Key Club,” Ms. Jackson said. “What an opportunity for leadership and cross curricular cooperation in our district.”

Nguyen’s goal is to keep the program going even after the key club senior graduate. To accomplish this goal, junior Katelyn Pasierb will take over leadership of the project next year. Nguyen and the key club received $600 dollars from the Youth Opportunities Fund this year to donate even more instruments.

“I think overall having Strings for Shepard and putting that as somewhat of a program that is Legacy’s, it is us and it is like our own and so having that is really important and it really captures the essence of what key club is and that is serving others,” Nguyen said.