CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The VH1 Save the Music Foundation is dedicated to keeping music programs alive and well at public schools across the country, including a number of them in West Virginia.
Since 2009, 35 West Virginia schools in 30 counties have received a combined total of $1.05 million from Save the Music for school music programs. The foundation is committed to funding all 55 counties.
"Our work in West Virginia has been one of the biggest successes the foundation has seen," said organization Vice President and Executive Director Paul Cothran at a ceremony March 20 in Washington, D.C.
The event honored Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller, as well as West Virginia Division of Culture and History Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, with the SupportMusic Award for their commitment to music education.
The Save the Music Foundation was created in 1997. Since then, it has donated $49.5 million worth of new instruments to 1,850 public schools in the U.S., which has directly benefited 2.1 million children.
One such student is Zac, a sixth-grade alto sax player at Harman School, a K-12 school in Randolph County. His photo is currently the banner image on the organization's website.
A quote from him accompanies the picture: "When I grow up, I want to be a doctor ... I want to go to West Virginia University and play in the marching band!"Save the Music partners with school districts to provide $30,000 worth of new instruments to public elementary and middle schools, thus "jump-starting dormant music programs across the country" as its website says.