Featured Organization: Little Kids Rock

Little Kids Rock (LKR)  is a national nonprofit music program that reaches over 42,000 kids across the country with free instruments and teacher trainings—and it all started with one elementary school teacher's dream.

More than 50 percent of kids who play an instrument go on to college, yet music education programs at public schools that need them most continue to be hit hard with budget cuts. That was what went through David Wish's mind in 1996 when he planted the seeds for LKR in San Francisco. David was an elementary school teacher who had grown frustrated with not having a music program at his school for lack of funding, so he started offering an after-school guitar class to his students. What began as an informal project led by a handful of volunteers in California has since has catapulted onto the national stage. Today, LKR is one of the leading providers of both free instruments and teacher trainings in the US, having served more than 85,000 underserved students in 20 cities nationwide since its inception. Several well-known artists have lent their continued support to LKR, including Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Slash, Ziggy Marley and B.B. King.

Focusing on communities in which more than half the students are eligible for the federal free/reduced lunch program, LKR trains public school teachers to hold classes using the LKR curriculum, materials and donated instruments. LKR's innovative program teaches kids how to play the music they love: pop, rock, reggae, funk, blues, rap and hip-hop music. Think Green Day—not Rodgers and Hammerstein. It also cultivates kids' creativity by teaching them to improvise and compose their own music.

Check out these rockin' videos

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