Richmond teacher asking for help to buy violins for students

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A teacher at Richmond’s Westover Hills Elementary school has started an online campaign to raise money to buy musical instruments for her students.

Christina Sienkiewicz, who teachers 3rd through 5th grades, created a page on DonorsChoose.org.

She says on the page:

“As a teacher in a high poverty school district, my students are faced with challenges I cannot even being to comprehend. Every student in the school is provided with free breakfast and lunch, some even sent home with food for the weekend. Aside from worrying about eating, these students often do not have a family unit at home that is able to instill students with a sense of safety and community. Despite the potential hardships that many students are facing day to day they are still coming to school with smiling faces. They are engaged in their classrooms and excited for the possibility that each day brings.

Over 50 students have signed up to take violin this year and only a handful have the means to rent/purchase their own instrument in the school. It is such an amazing privilege for the students to have the opportunity to learn the violin in elementary school, however there are currently no school instruments available for them to use. The majority of students in the school come from very low income settings and single family households. It is not within the parents means to be able to provide an instrument for them. Currently, the school has one instrument (see picture) that is not in working condition for the students to use. Everyone should have the opportunity to play the violin, despite their socioeconomic status. Music can save lives. It can help these students realize that they can be good at something, hard work pays off and even help improve their literacy and focus in other classes.”

Sienkiewicz needs a total of about $2,185.00 to buy six violins. She will receive them if her project is fully funded by January 11, 2017. For the next 7 days, all donations give using the code LIFTOFF will be matched dollar for dollar by DonorsChoose.org. Sienkiewicz also says she will gladly take donations of used instruments from members of the community.

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