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Save Lafayette

When students at Lafayette in Humboldt Park learned their school was on the CPS closings list, they took to their instruments. Their orchestra is in danger.


In 2010, Reason to Give uploaded this video on YouTube.


The description as posted on YouTube:

"Troubled by continuous cuts in education funding for Chicago Public Schools, Trisha Shrode, principal of Lafayette Elementary School, asked Reason to Give to help save her school's renowned music program. Lafayette serves Humboldt Park students in Pre-K through 8th grade. The school hosts two Head Start classrooms and is a cluster site for Autism. Unfortunately, every year is a struggle to keep their music program available to the students.

"The Merit School of Music began 10 years ago as an afterschool program at Lafayette Elementary. Today it is one of the largest string orchestra programs in Chicago. As the students attest to in their interviews, performing is their favorite part of the music program. Students have the chance to perform concerts at Lafayette and several sites around Chicago. These experiences teach students not only public performance skills, but self confidence and responsibility.

"The Merit Music program gives students opportunities that many from low-income neighborhoods such as Humboldt Park do not usually have. Lafayette students have gone on to attend numerous private and selective enrollment high schools in Chicago and around the country based on their involvement in the Merit Music program.

"Music teacher Arturs Weible sees the importance of the orchestra program everyday. He knows that its not just about learning an instrument; its about learning to work with and respect one another, building self-confidence, and growing into young leaders. The students told Reason to Give how grateful they were to be a part of the orchestra because it kept them from falling negative influences around them and gave them hope for the future. When Reason to Give was invited to attend one of the orchestra's performances and sit in on a practice, we were amazed at the energy in the room and the level of commitment each student showed."



Lafayette Elementary Music Program Concert.

"They say this is one of the Chicago Schools that are being under utilized. I beg to differ!"



Lafayette School Supporters Rally Against CPS Closings.

"Supporters and families from Lafayette Elementary School attend a rally protesting the proposal from Chicago Public School administrators to close their school and dissolve their beloved music department and student orchestra."


Comments welcome.


1. From Steve Rhodes:

Hadn't seen this until hours after our post: Lafayette Music Teacher Hopes Concert Video Will Save School


Posted on March 28, 2013

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