Youngsters in the after-school choir at Julia Randall Elementary School started their last month of the school year with a trip to Utah.
The choir attended the America Sings! festival in Salt Lake City May 2-3.
"The festival was more than just a place to go and sing our songs for others on a competitive basis. America Sings! encourages young artists across the country to get involved in philanthropic service projects in their own towns.
"We have spent the year raising funds to go to the festival and also donating quantities of items to Good Will. We held a raffle at Christmas and helped to raise money for one of our own students in need. We have been collecting items to assemble at the festival in gift boxes called, "Kits for Kids," which will be donated to local charities which assist homeless and disadvantaged children," said choir director Kathy Kaufman.
During the festival the group made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which were donated to local charities in Salt Lake City.
The philosophy of the America Sings! program is summed up in a quote from its literature, "To kids who feel they have no hope, from kids with hope to share." "This has been an incredible year of education for my students in the choir. Everyone has had the opportunity to be a winner. America Sings! reminds us that we have a chance to harness and display the limitless potential and talents of our nation's youth," Kaufman said.
The choir at JRE consists of second through fifth grade students.
"We would like to thank the following organizations that donated to our funds in order to make this trip possible. PRMC, Jim Gannarelli, Credit for Kids, Believe Productions, and Great American Opportunities. Also, everyone in our community that participated in our fund-raisers. We would also like to thank all the parents that supported their children's efforts, the great staff at Julia Randall Elementary School, as well as all the music staff throughout our district and Pine Schools," Kaufman said.