The City Sentinel

“I’ll Fly Away” Foundation brings music and songwriting into ASTEC Classroom

Darla Shelden Story by on May 18, 2016 . Click on author name to view all articles by this author. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
ASTEC Charter Schools students in Oklahoma City recently celebrated after a week of studying music and songwriting with the “I'll Fly Away” Foundation. Photo provided.

ASTEC Charter Schools students in Oklahoma City recently celebrated after a week of studying music and songwriting with the “I’ll Fly Away” Foundation. Photo provided.

Staff Report

OKLAHOMA CITY – ASTEC Charter Schools recently collaborated with the I’ll Fly Away Foundation, supported by a grant from The Kerr Foundation, to teach song writing to children in English classes for a week. The I’ll Fly Away Foundation created a curriculum with professional songwriters and musical experts that is taken into schools and encourages students to get involved in a music program.

The curriculum can be adapted for students from PreK to the University level. This program not only encourages music involvement today, but addresses the significance of music over the past 100 years. In 2012, the foundation helped over 700 students get involved in a music program. Their program encourages students to take a closer look at music and most have seen an academic increase in their performance.

ASTEC eighth grade English students recently performed their songs in front of other students, faculty and staff. Many students expressed their appreciation and encouragement they received from the I’ll Fly Away Foundation songwriters and staff:

“My confidence grew through the week as we worked as a team to write the song and then performed it.”

“The leaders (I’ll Fly Away Program) encouraged us to continue to write and put our thoughts on paper.”

“It was fun. They encouraged us to be creative and no one laughed at me.”

The I’ll Fly Away Foundation was inspired by Albert E. Brumley’s “I’ll Fly Away,” one of the most recognized and recorded songs in the world. From the first million selling single in 1949 by the Chuck Wagon Gang to the first Grammy Award nomination in 1969 to the 10th and latest Grammy Award win in 2009, “I’ll Fly Away” is a part of the fabric of America. In 1983,

The Smithsonian Institute named Albert E. Brumley the “greatest white gospel songwriter before WWII.”

Led by Betsy Brumley, Albert’s granddaughter, The I’ll Fly Away Foundation has a rich history in music and in the Arkansas area. The I’ll Fly Away Foundation looks to secure the future of musical heritage through its mission to reach children, encouraging them to become the people they want to become by using music to cross over the normal boundaries and communicate while believing that the future is brighter.

The Kerr Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit charitable and educational Oklahoma corporation, established to identify and support 501(c)3 organizations, programs and institutions that provide new or enhanced opportunities for those within the granting areas, particularly the young.

Advanced Science and Technology Education Charter (ASTEC) Schools are public schools of choice in Oklahoma City serving middle and high school students. Today the two inner-city schools have a combined enrollment of more than 900 students.

For more information, contact Denise Ebersbach at debersbach@asteccharterschools.com or visit the website at www.asteccharterschools.com.

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