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Aug 30 2020 12:00AM

Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation and Graystone Builders, Inc. Partner to Bring Music Education to New Hampshire


$85,000 to support New Hampshire Rocks!, a new statewide initiative of

New Hampshire Department of Education

Thirteen New Hampshire schools are the recipients of generous contributions from state and national partners to launch New Hampshire Rocks!, a program designed to expand students’ musical opportunities in school music education programs.

In partnership with Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation, Graystone Builders, Inc. and the New Hampshire Department of Education, Little Kids Rock is proud to announce the launch of New Hampshire Rocks!, a statewide initiative that expands student opportunities to create, perform, and connect through music. Teachers in districts across the state of New Hampshire will receive professional learning and training in Little Kids Rock’s modern band pedagogy and instruments for their school music programs.

“Modern band music programs empower teachers to use the music that kids know and love, including rock, pop, R&B, country, and hip-hop, to master music competencies,” said Marcia McCaffrey, Arts Consultant with the New Hampshire Department of Education. “Through these classes, students gain musical skills that enable them to play together, compose songs together, build community, and express through music their thoughts, ideas, and emotions.”

Beginning on August 31, thirty New Hampshire music teachers will begin receiving curriculum and training so that they are prepared to begin delivering instruction to their students in person or on-line depending on how the pandemic impacts districts across the state this year. Thirteen of these teachers will also receive instruments for their program, representing the first equipped cohort of New Hampshire Rocks! This first year cohort of teachers represents eleven districts across six counties with the potential to impact nearly 6,000 students. These schools represent the state’s largest, smallest, urban, rural, and charter districts. Participating schools include:

Deerfield Community School, Deerfield

Little Harbour Elementary, Portsmouth

The Granite State Arts Academy, Salem

Seacoast Charter School, Dover

Cocheco Academy of the Arts, Dover

Manchester Central High School, Manchester

Wilson Elementary School, Manchester

Hillside Middle School, Manchester

John Stark Regional HS, Weare

Symonds Elementary School, Keene

Hinsdale Middle & High School, Hinsdale

Pine Tree Elementary, Conway

Lin-Wood Elementary, Middle & High School, Lincoln

Bringing music education programs to New Hampshire was made possible thanks to a generous challenge grant put forth by David Smith, President of Graystone Builders, Inc. To date, the New Hampshire Department of Education, Milagro Foundation, and Little Kids Rock have raised funds to be matched by Graystone Builders, for a total investment of nearly $85,000 into New Hampshire public schools. This support will directly underwrite the professional development, curricular resources and musical instruments for teachers and students across the state.

In speaking about the initiative and his philanthropic legacy, David Smith, Founder of Graystone Builders, Inc., said, “Supporting music for children in my home state of NH is a dream come true. To have the pleasure to partner with Carlos Santana’s Milagro Foundation over the past four years on charitable projects such as the incredible Little Kids Rock Program is an opportunity which truly gives meaning to all of us at Graystone Builders Inc of NH. Providing homes to NH residents and giving back to the same communities; it’s a win for all involved.”

“Thanks to the generosity of Graystone Builders and our twenty year partnership with Carlos Santana and his Milagro Foundation, we are pleased to bring the transformative gift of music to more students in more classrooms across the Granite State,” said Dave Wish, Founder and CEO of Little Kids Rock. “Graystone Builders is a pillar of the philanthropic community in New Hampshire and we are honored to work in support of their commitment to children in New Hampshire.”

This partnership also represents the continuation of Carlos Santana’s long-time support of Little Kids Rock and his commitment to providing music educational opportunities for students across the country. In reflecting on this relationship and its impact, Carlos said: “For me, there is no greater joy than seeing the transformative powers that music can bring to a child. I know firsthand how it changed my life. It gave me a vocabulary and a confidence to know that I am significant, meaningful, and I can make a difference in the world. That is what Little Kids Rock brings to these children - the knowledge that they are all of these things and can touch people's hearts and make a difference in this world. It is an honor to work with Little Kids Rock and celebrate all that they continue to do in this world."

Carlos recorded this special message in support of the initiative’s launch: Message from Carlos Santana

It is with this inspiration we begin the new school year and celebrate the launch of New Hampshire Rocks! “Music is a powerful tool to unlock creativity and learning,” said Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. “Through New Hampshire Rocks!, we’re going to be able to help schools expand their modern band programs, and provide musical opportunities to more New Hampshire students.”

For more information, contact Michelle Shen at michelle@littlekidsrock.org.

About Little Kids Rock

Little Kids Rock transforms lives by restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in our schools. Our network of thousands of K-12 teachers lead a national movement that brings innovative and inclusive music education to students.

Using genres including rock, pop, Latin, and rap, our program empowers teachers to build music programs as diverse as the kids they serve. Our students see themselves reflected in their classes, which strengthens their connection to their school, their peers, and their community. Little Kids Rock also donates necessary instruments and curriculum, meeting a key need of many school music programs. The world of music expands through innovation. We ensure that music education does as well.

Since 2002, the organization has reached more than 1,000,000 students with highly inclusive and culturally relevant music education. Today, more than 550,000 kids currently participate in Little Kids Rock programs in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Learn more here: https://www.littlekidsrock.org/

About Graystone Builders

For over 30 years, Graystone Builders has been building homes in the Seacoast New Hampshire region. With attention to detail and a commitment to excellence, Graystone works hand in hand with customers to make sure every vision becomes reality in their new home. Located out of Strafford, New Hampshire, Graystone has projects in the Greenland, Portsmouth, Dover, Epsom, Rochester, and surrounding areas. Learn more here: https://www.graystonebuildersnh.com/


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