On Sept. 27, Congressman Ralph Abraham recognized members of the Kids’ Orchestra during the House of Representatives Morning Hour.

Abraham, a Republican who represents Louisiana's 5th district, spoke about the positive impact that Kids’ Orchestra has had on the children of East Baton Rouge Parish and his hope for continued growth.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the nonprofit organization Kids’ Orchestra, or the positive impact it has on the children it has on East Baton Rouge Parish. It (Kids’ Orchestra) is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is one of the largest after-school programs for elementary schools in the entire United States. The program began in 2011 with 30 students from a few local schools. Now, 800 students from 21 schools participate each year learning a musical instrument, performing in an ensemble and/or singing in the choir. It uses music to teach valuable lessons both in and out of the classroom.

"Ultimately, they are successful, as 82 percent of their students say they feel more confident, part of a team, and like they are good at something after completing the program. Teachers and parents also see improvements in peer interactions, self-confidence, school attendance, and classroom behavior from the participating students. These benefits translate academically also, as on average Kids’ Orchestra students receive 15 percent higher grades than students who do not participate in the program," he said.

"The organization also aims to create a strong sense of community between the children and all — of all different backgrounds, different neighborhoods, and different schools. Each class contains 25 students of varying ages, schools and skill levels, all brought together for weekly lessons and regular performances. By forming a community based on musical training and enrichment, Kids’ Orchestra is making a positive impact on neighborhood schools and individual students. I'm proud to have had this program in Louisiana, and I look forward to seeing the positive impacts from the organization for many, many years to come,” Abraham said.

Visit cs.pn/2DgVMjR to see the clip of the congressman speaking.

For information about Kids’ Orchestra, contact Sam Trevathan, education director, at strevathan@kidsorchestra.org or (225) 922-4656 ext. 103.