Runnels School is teaming up with the Louisiana National Guard to help bring the sound of music to schools in Belize.
“We’re collecting musical instruments — especially woodwind, brass and percussion instruments — for school-aged children in public schools in Belize,” said Louisiana National Guardsman and Runnels dad Capt. Joseph Carey. He is facilitating the donations at Runnels.
“We’re trying to get ‘100 Instruments in 50 Days,’ ” he said.
That way, the instruments can accompany the next rotation of Louisiana National Guardsmen headed to Belize in May. Belize is Louisiana’s partner country in the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program. The Louisiana National Guard is working with the Belize Defence Force in this community service project.
Because of the high rate of poverty in Belize, access to musical instruments in classrooms is predictably low.
“In Belize, they have some music programs in the public schools, but instruments are very expensive, and most people just can’t afford them,” Carey said.
“My son plays the saxophone at Runnels,” he added. “I’ve been so impressed with how much he’s learned.”
Carey wants to help deliver that kind of experience to school children in Belize.
“Music brings people and nations together,” he added. “It’s an opportunity to communicate.”
Instruments needed include piccolo, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, French horn, tuba, trombone, flugelhorn, cornet, saxophones, drums, cymbals, xylophones and drumsticks.
To donate used but playable instruments to the Louisiana National Guard’s “100 Instruments in 50 Days” project, drop them off on or before April 30 at Runnels School, S. Harrell’s Ferry Road, in Room 34, Koenig Hall.
For information, call Maj. Michael Stevens at (504) 491-3558 or email Michael. email@example.com).